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
Sean Flynn
Meredith Jacob
American University Washington College of Law, USAThe Global Network on Copyright User Rights Users' RightsGlobalA group of copyright experts assembled by PIJIP at American University to generate policy options and expert guidance on the protection of users’ rights through flexible limitations and exceptions in national copyright laws. The network has drafted a Model Flexible Copyright Exception for legislators in countries considering copyright reform, which can be adapted to most copyright laws. This framework and other papers are available at
Seble BarakiJustice and Legal Systems Research Institute, EthiopiaUsers' RightsEthiopia
I plan to do research on the implications of WIPO's international treaty on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons and people with print disabilities in Ethiopia. Particularly in light of improving the current copyright legislation of Ethiopia (Copyright and Neighboring rights protection Proclamation No. 410/2004) which does not include a specific limitations for blind people and others with print disabilities. This work will be focused on providing a suggestions on how to improve our copyright legislation so as to enable this group access to information including up-to-date learning and teaching materials.
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.
Niva Elkin-KorenUniversity of Haifa, IsraelUsers' Rights
GlobalI am currently involved in two projects on user rights. One seeks to articulate exceptions and limitations as rights, as the rights of online users are increasingly under siege due to the shift to digital and the expansion of copyright protection. Against this background, I seek to offer a legal framework that moves beyond exceptions to copyright and articulate permissible uses as rights. Another study seeks to define the legal status of Fair Use Best Practices and to identify the practical implications.
Floriana FossatoCenter for the Study of New Media and Society, New Economic School, RussiaRanking Digital RightsUsers' Rights
Privacy and Surveillance
We are currently involved in the 'Ranking Digital Rights' project led by Rebecca MacKinnon. This is a comparative study of public and private (online service provider) Internet policies in various states (including Russia). Freedom of expression is closely intertwined with privacy across the sector and, as connectivity increases, so do the challenges. This research effort will include two main components:(1) a Landscape Assessment, focusing on analyzing the current policy environment in the country. (2) Mapping of Key Actors, including identification of key individuals and organizations working in the internet policy space and the mapping of relationship networks. Some 25 Russian IT companies and Internet organizations have agreed to participate in interviews for this research.
Greg LastowkaRutgers University, USAUsers' RightsGlobalI'm currently researching the nature of user-generated content creation on a variety of online platforms, with a particular focus on copyright infringement and fair use issues. The work includes some research into demographics of UGC creation, as well as genres, motivations, and other factors.
Jessica LitmanUniversity of Michigan, USAUsers' RightsUSAI'm writing a book on the interests of readers, listeners and viewers in the copyright system (title: "Copyright Liberties"). I am also working with a small group on an effort to come up with a model copyright law that could be useful in the domestic (US) copyright reform effort.
John BergemayerPublic Knowledge, USAUsers' RightsUSABroadly I work on the ways in which IP, competition law, and Internet policy together shape the future of access to video content, ranging from work on DRM and copyright law (e.g, the scope of the Section 106 rights) to the impact of Internet peering disputes on consumer access to media.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaGreater Access to Published Works by Impaired Persons and Persons with Print DisabilitiesUsers' RightsIndia
Following up CIS’ intervention in support of the Treaty for the Visually Impaired, CIS is now studying the implementation of the WIPO Treaty in India and other jurisdictions.
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