The 2013 ‘Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest’ Research Survey


Between July and September, 2013, we surveyed members of the Global Congress community to learn more about their projects and priorities. We invited participation through email lists and solicited anyone who had either been to a Global Congress, been invited to one, or expressed interest in coming.  We received around 90 responses.

Rather than create an agenda document, we’ve decided to let the responses speak mostly for themselves.  We’ve split them into two parts: a searchable, sortable database for Current Projects (below) and a series of posts on Research Priorities (forthcoming on Infojustice) that compile perspectives on research opportunities and its relationship to policymaking in the next several years.

Here are the caveats: The responses are drawn from–but do not exhaustively reproduce–the responses we received.  Responses have been cherry picked, edited, and loosely organized under primary themes.  We favored detailed responses over lists of projects or statements of general interests or concerns.  The list is also quite limited: it attributes projects to the person or persons who reported it–not necessarily to all contributors to a project.   We can, of course, make adjustments where the attribution is clearly inadequate (let us know if that’s the case).  But we are not aiming for a rigorous accounting of the research field, just a useful one given the usual constraints on time and resources.  If this proves popular, we can discuss expanding it as part of future Global Congresses.

View all survey results


Governance, Participation, Trade Agreements

Public Health, Access to Medicines

Practices and Attitudes, Piracy / Informality, Public Understanding of Copyright

Tech Innovation Systems and Patents, Open Innovation, Tech Patents, Patent SystemUniversity Tech Transfer, Biological Patents

Creative Incentives and Remuneration, Collecting Societies, Licensing, Copyright’s Incentives, Remuneration, Creative IndustriesAlternative Business Models

Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, Access to Cultural Goods, Educational Materials, Libraries

Enforcement, Privacy and Surveillance

Trademark, Geographical Indicators, Traditional Knowledge

IP/A2K Social Movements and Activism, Capacity Building

Adjacent Issues

Geographical Focus

Global, Latin America, Africa, MENA, Europe, South Asia, USA, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Poland, China, Russia, South Africa, India, Ethiopia


Priorities for Future Research

Intro and International Comparison and Cases
Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, and Enforcement
Trade, Patents, and Health
Cultural Economies
Methods, Communication, and Social Movements


Want to Contribute 2-3 Paragraphs on Research Priorities?

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Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported ItResearch VenueProject TitleTopic(s)Geographical FocusDescription
Jeremy MalcolmDepartment of Economics, American University, USA
American University Washington College of Law, USA
Consumers International, USA
Measuring the Economic Effects of Flexible Use Exceptions in Copyright LawUsers' Rights
Copyright Reform
GlobalThis is a collaboration between Consumers International and American University to develop empirical and quantitative accounts of the value of limitations and exceptions to copyright. The study will have several components, including the creation of an index of copyright flexibility -- led by Walter Park, the creator of the Park Index of Patent Rights, consumer and producer surveys, and research and research funds to promote empirical, including econometric and case study, analysis of the impacts of copyright flexibility on social and economic development goals.
Michael GeistUniversity of Ottawa, CanadaCopyright ReformCanadaCanada recently concluded more than ten years of contentious debate over copyright reform. I have been researching the evolution of the policy process and the impact of the public, technology, and foreign pressures on domestic reforms; (6) The IP implications from trade negotiations - particularly CETA and TPP.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaReform of Copyright Laws in IndiaCopyright ReformIndiaWe have been examining Indian Copyright Law (including legislations, rules, cases, guidelines etc.) and plan to produce a working paper on the current position of Indian Copyright Law and the changes that we would like to see incorporated within it.
Brandon ButlerAmerican University Washington College of Law, USAThe Strange Case of Pre-1972 Sound RecordingsCopyright ReformUSAThese are protected not by federal copyright law, but by a patchwork of state anti-piracy laws and common law copyright. Many interesting questions follow from this legal oddity. What are the economic consequences of this hybrid regime? Have rights holders suffered from the lack of access to statutory damages, DMCA anti-circumvention protection, etc. etc.?
Pedro ParanaguaDuke University, USA
Fundação Vargas, Brazil
House of Representatives, Brazil
Brazilian Copyright ReformCopyright ReformBrazilMy dissertation involves comparative study of draft versions of the copyright reform bill as it passed through the Brazilian Congress, with a focus on users' rights, and re-legitimizing and re-balancing the Brazilian copyright regime. The work hopes to influence not only the Brazilian legislative process (a translation into Portuguese will be needed), taking advantage of the fact that the author is advisor to the ruling party at the Brazilian House of Representatives, but also to influence other countries that are studying the possibility of reforming copyright law.
Barton BeebeNYU, USASubstantial Similarity Tests for CopyrightCopyright ReformUSAI’m currently conducting (with co-authors) an empirical study of ‘substantial similarity’ tests developed through copyright case law as a means of evaluating whether a reproduction of a copyrighted work is infringing. This is a case-counting project, involving the systematic content analysis of all relevant reported federal court opinions.
Corynne McSherryElectronic Frontier Foundation, USACopyright ReformUSAOn the copyright reform front, we’re focusing on statutory damages, first sale (esp digital), and reform of DMCA section 1201. For each of these, EFF's goal is to find ways to restore the balance between copyright and the public interest, so that copyright can better serve the goal of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts. Outside of copyright, we are working to collect data on patent trolls and prior art for certain specific patented inventions, in order to fight back against patent abuse.
Rebecca Giblin
Kimberlee Weatherall
Monash University, Australia
University of Sydney, Australia
Copyright Law in the Public InterestCopyright ReformGlobalA project led by Rebecca Giblin looking at what global copyright law would look like if formulated in the public interest. A workshop is planned for 2014 (involving a small number of academics in the area) with a view to producing a book in mid-2015 with chapters on different issues in copyright law. Akin to Samuelson's Copyright Principles Project but from an angle more akin to Jessica Litman's old thought experiment, which asked: 'if your client were the public, and copyright law were a contract, would you advise your client to sign it?
Talha SyedUniversity of California, Berkeley, USAAdjacent Issues
Copyright Reform
GlobalMy work touches on four areas: (1) Economic analysis of how factoring in differentiated competition dynamics affects the economic theory and policy of copyright law. (2) Examining when precisely "democratic" and "distributive" theories or values result in significant differences from economic analysis for copyright law and policy. (3) Exploring how non-economic normative considerations related to non-IP-based approaches to innovation policy. (4) Copyright and Inequality: exploring the interaction between copyright rules and online expressive activity in light of three values (a) economic equity, (b) political democracy and (c) social or community ties marked less by status hierarchy and more reciprocity and mutuality recognition.
Jason SchultzNew York University, USATech Patents
Copyright Reform
Users' Rights
USACopyright and Patent Exhaustion (First Sale); Fair Use; Digital Libraries and digital lending; Defensive Patenting; Crowd-sourcing prior art searching
Jeremy de Beer
Tobias Schonwetter
Nagla Rizk
Carolyn Ncube
Many Others
University of Ottawa
University of Cape Town
Open AIRCopyright Reform
Traditional Knowledge
Tech Innovation Systems and Patents
AfricaThe Open AIR project is right now building toward its finale -- the book capturing current realities, the scenarios for the future, and outreach and engagement activities -- which will be marked by the December conference(s) in Cape Town. A 6-month wind-down and transition phase will follow, with all activities complete by mid-2014.