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
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).
Alek TarkowskiCentrum Cyfrowe, PolandIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Collecting Societies
PolandAn economic study of the financial statements of Polish collecting societies, demonstrating the flows of funding (and their inefficiencies) that shape the delivery of royalties to creators.
Michael GeistUniversity of OttawaCollective Copyright ManagementIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Collecting Societies
CanadaEffectiveness and potential administrative reforms in Canada, and accountability of collective rights management organizations.
Peter DiColaNorthwestern University, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
USAAnother set of projects involves studying the licensing of copyrighted works for digital platforms. The empirical goal is to study what works well and what does not with private licenses. The policy goal is to learn about government policies that encourage licensing that is socially beneficial. Here, I have focused on the music industry, but not to the exclusion of video, newspapers, and books.
Elizabeth Townsend GardTulane University, USAThe Durationator' Copyright ExperimentIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
GlobalThe Durationator is an experimental software tool that tries to determine the copyright status of any type of work in any jurisdiction in the world.
Christopher Sprigman
Jeanne Fromer
Christopher Buccafusco
NYU, USAExperimental Studies of Incentives in Intellectual PropertyIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Incentives and Copyright
USAA series of experiments testing the differential effects of rules conditioning protection of creators’ work on the creators achieving certain thresholds of creativity. The experiments are meant to model existing copyright and patent laws, which set very different thresholds for the amount of creativity necessary to secure IP rights. A second line of experimental research looks at ‘Sequential Innovation Rules in Intellectual Property,’ and tests the differential effects of IP rules governing the right of follow-on creators to build on other’s pre-existing work.
Andrew BridgesFenwick & West LLP, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Incentives and Copyright
USAUS Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante said in 2012 that copyright was for authors first and the nation second. More recently she has retreated from that statement by modifying it: now she says that copyright is for authors, and what is good for authors is good for the nation. Is copyright really for all authors? In reality, it pits authors against two different groups: other authors, and the public. I plan to examine the proposition that copyright law itself does not have a single constituency. I would also like to study the effects of copyright law in pitting author (incumbent) against author (the new author who may want exploit or adapt earlier works, but who faces restrictions on doing so and penalties for violating those restrictions). Also, given that copyright terms extend for the life of the author plus seventy years, during the majority of most copyright terms the "author" who benefits from copyright law is dead. Does copyright law therefore favor dead authors against new authors? Who benefits from such a principle?
Kristin ThomsonNorthwestern University, USAArtist Revenue ProjectIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
USAThis project involves surveying musicians in the U.S. about their sources of revenue. The survey was in the field in 2011 and the project team hopes to replicate the survey in 2014, pending funding. The goal is to eventually study changes in the different "revenue streams" of musicians. The hope is that this will shed light on economic theories of copyright and incentives for creation.
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.
Miguel CaetanoCenter for the Study and Research of Sociology, ISCTE-IUL, PortugalUsers and distributors. Networked Communication and European Cinema in P2P NetworksIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
GlobalThis is a collaborative project at our center made up of three parts: (1) an assessment of the state of the European film industry in the context of the global movie business and the importance of Hollywood, from development to financing, production, distribution, and exhibition/consumption; (2) Analysis of the effects and impacts of digitization on the European film industry again from the same chain value perspective; (3) results of a survey of online consumption habits among Portuguese Internet users. With this report, we hope to open up policy and media discussions of access to culture and knowledge in Portugal.
Rahul Telang
Mike Smith
Carnegie Mellon University, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
USAMost of our work in this area is about understanding how piracy and anti-piracy measures affect user and firm incentives. The methods are mostly economics and impact is to bring data analysis to the table.
Joel WaldfogelUniversity of Minnesota, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
USAOne big project is quantifying the supply of new creative products since digitization. Earlier work by me and others documented harmful effects of piracy on revenue. But this big question is whether, in light of both the bad news on the demand side (piracy) and good news on the supply side (a reduction of bringing new products to market), consumers continue to experience a robust flow of new products. I have written a series of papers examining this question with data on music. I am now looking at books.
Joel WaldfogelUniversity of Minnesota, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
USAA second large project is concerned with digitization and international trade in music. Now that products are digital - and product discovery channels are broad - does distance continue to matter in international trade? Does the US dominate global markets in music in the same way that it does in movies? Does the move toward more frictionless trade help or hurt consumers and producers in a variety of different markets? The study will examine North America and Europe.
Jessica SilbeySuffolk University Law School, UKIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
United KingdomI am writing a book on intellectual property's various roles in artistic and scientific work based on a series of in-depth interviews with artists and scientists and business lawyer and business managers. The work is based on qualitative empirical methods and will be published by Stanford University Press. I have conducted 50 interviews with people on the east-coast of the United States in a wide-variety of industry/fields. My hope is that the research will undercut the one-dimensional explanation for IP protection in the US and provide additional evidence for IP law's retarding and extraneous effects/uses in industries that are nonetheless IP-rich.
Ana SantosDuke Law School, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
AfricaI am researching the impact of IP on creative industries in developing countries. My current main focus is sub-Saharan Africa, and I have been studying the music industry in selected African countries. I have field work planned in Senegal and Ghana later on this year. I am also planning to look at other creative industries (especially the film industry) and to connect patterns of IP and developmental policies in selected countries to existing economic literature on creative clustering.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaThe Legal Music Market in India in Response to the Digital AgeIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
IndiaOngoing CIS work in this area (most recently by Amba Uttara) argues that litigation and technological solutions such as Digital Rights Management are no solution for the “pricing problem” of the Indian music market and that as new players, such as telecom operators and content aggregators, emerge in the music ecosystem, legal music services must move away from the perceived crisis within old business structures.
Nagla RizkAmerican University, EgyptIndependent Musicians in EgyptIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Alternative Business Models
AfricaPart of ‘A2K4D,’ the North Africa Hub of the Open African Innovation Research Project (Open AIR). The research is intended to help develop hybrid business models for production and delivery of creative content, and alternative ways of dealing with IP in ways that empower authors and expand access to users.
Volker GrassmuckCentre for Digital Culture (CDC), Leuphana University GermanyWikiVision.euIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Alternative Business Models
GlobalThis project starts from (1) the perception of the video revolution that brings forth numerous works that deserve a seal of quality on a par with the productions of the public service media, and (2) the enduring astonishment that the Wikipedia is possible, i.e. that out of the cooperation of free and equal peers an encyclopedia, one of the most import knowledge infrastructures of our times can emerge. Adding one and two together leads to the obvious, yet megalomaniac question whether we could not in the same manner create a high-quality audio-visual self-observation of society.
Volker Grassmuck
Rolf Grossman
Bodo Balazs
Pablo Ortellado
Leuphana University, Germany
IViR, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
GPOPAI, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
German Green Party
Sharing Licence Pilot ProjectIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Alternative Business Models
EuropeWe are currently working on Alternative Compensation Schemes to legalize and monetize currently infringing online practices. Though in the last decade there have been many proposals, most of these were done by legal scholars following a top-down approach, ie: if this is legally possible and fair, this (or something similar) should be implemented. We also start with mapping the legally possible alternatives (mostly within the European context), but then we translate the legal alternatives into simple survey items and conduct a representative surveys to see which enjoy the highest level of support (measured in willingness to pay). The outcome of the survey will undergo an economic analysis to establish the welfare effects of different scenarios.