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


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Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported ItResearch VenueProject TitleTopic(s)Geographical FocusDescription
Rochelle Dreyfuss
Cesar Rodrigues
University of los Andes, Peru
Access to Medicine in Latin AmericaPublic Health
Access to Medicines
Latin AmericaThis edited book funded by IDRC is part of a project on global administrative law. We surveyed relevant actors in eleven Latin American countries on how they balanced demands for strong IP protection against the state's interest in preserving access to reasonably-priced medicines. We identified factors that led some countries to greater success in preserving access.
Koichi KamedaFundação Vargas, BrazilPublic health, innovation and industrial policy: the development of a rapid test for HIV/Aids and hepatitis diagnostics in BrazilPublic Health
Access to Medicines
Latin America
Main goal: to understand the recent initiatives of local production of health technology to address demands of the public health system, with a focus on the diagnostic tools for HIV and hepatitis. In contrast with the experience of local production of medicines, the efforts to develop a national platform for the diagnostics products (inputs and reagents) are quite recent.
Miguel CaetanoCenter for the Study and Research of Sociology, ISCTE-IUL, PortugalP2P Culture: a comparative sociological analysis of sites and networks for online sharing of music, movies and ebooks in Portugal and BrazilBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
Latin America
My dissertation project concerns the analysis of the sharing of unauthorized copyrighted works in Portugal and in Brazil, with a focus on three sectors: music, books and movies.
Pedro ParanaguaDuke University, USA
Fundação Vargas, Brazil
House of Representatives, Brazil
Brazilian Patent ReformTech Innovation Systems and PatentsBrazil
Latin America
This 400-page report was published in late August 2013 by the Brazilian House of Representatives, under the coordination of Rep. Newton Lima (Workers Party). The Report supports a number of reforms embedded in pending legislation, including limiting the patent term at 20 years maximum (the current Patent Act authorizes the extension for beyond 20 years under a number of common circumstances) and clarifying what is not considered to be inventions, such as second use patents and new forms of known substances. Here we draw parallels to the Indian Patent Act as revised in 2005.
Carolina Botero
Pedro Mizukami
Ronaldo Lemos
Karisma Foundation, ColombiaCollecting Societies in Latin AmericaIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Collecting Societies
Latin America
This project is part of the larger Alternative Business Models project on alternative compensation systems in Latin America (partners in Brazil, Jamaica and Colombia). It examines issues of regulation, transparency and accountability, the relationship with new social media entities that perform overlapping functions (like YouTube).
Evelin HeidelFundacion Via Libre, ArgentinaIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Latin America
We are planning to explore authors and artists’ perceptions of copyright, based on a basic set of questions: Do they know how the law works? Do they understand the copyright system? Do they benefit from it? If so, how? If they don't benefit from it, what other tools do they use in order to make a living from their art? The hypothesis is that most authors and artists don't understand the copyright system and don't make a living out of it, and that this lack of knowledge the complexity behind it causes a lot of problems for other institutions, like libraries.
Carolina BoteroKarisma Foundation, ColombiaPublic Investment in Text Books in the South of Latin America.’ Carolina Botero, Karisma FoundationAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
Access to Educational Materials
Latin AmericaA five-country comparative study in Latin America that seeks to describe and compare procurement practices for educational materials K-12 public education systems. Funder: UNESCO. This work will expand in 2014 to include more countries and higher education.
J. Carlos LaraDerechos Digitales, ChileAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
Latin America
I've been conducting research in support of an effort to provide one of Santiago's biggest universities with an open access repository. Currently in its advanced stages, the goal is to implement an institutional repository for faculty works (whose rights are legally held by the university) and graduate and undergraduate thesis.
Alberto CerdaUniversity of Chile Law School, ChileEnforcementLatin America
Costa Rica
I am working on a doctoral dissertation that focuses on human rights challenges for Latin American countries facing copyright enforcement. I examine a few Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru. And I pay close attention to criminal enforcement and measures for enforcing copyright online. While most scholarship has focused on free speech and access to knowledge, I try to broaden the discussion by providing a comparative law analysis that focuses on other fundamental rights granted by both international instruments on human rights and domestic constitutions.
Antonio Martinez VelazquezArticulo 19Intermediaries and Codes of ConductIntermediaries
Adjacent Issues
Privacy and Surveillance
Latin America
We are working to create predictable codes of conduct that allow for the coexistence of third party rights and freedom of expression on the Internet. The code of conduct is intended, in part, to provide ways of resolving conflicts without subjecting internet intermediaries to coercive state regulations.

One aspect of this work is a case by case study of the central conflicts intermediaries are facing. In our investigations we will whether and when self-regulation through the adoption of “best practices” provides a viable way through these conflicts.

Out broader findings will shed light on the dilemmas all social media will be facing, including “content blocking, take-down and disclosure of user identity." In so doing, we'll be asking a wide range of questions:

Are internet intermediaries promoting or censoring freedom of expression? What are the kinds of information that attract restrictions? What are the existing “standards of play”, or lack of? (Internal codes of practice vs. external codes of practice). When are intermediaries subject to external pressure to disclose information or to take down certain content? ¿How do they respond? Do these codes of conduct, terms of service, and past decisions comply with international standards?

We will also study the relationship that social media has with national laws, and these place different responsibilities on users and on intermediaries. For example, in certain countries the legal practice will directly place responsibility on the individual using an internet service, and will discard acting against intermediaries, while in other countries judicial courts may take direct actions against internet intermediaries. This will allow us to understand what kinds of pressure intermediaries receive and what actions can be taken to comply with national laws. If laws inhibit freedom of expression, what are the consequences of non compliance? How have intermediaries acted in the past faced with such dilemmas, and what are the consequences on freedom of expression.