October 31, 2001

Conference: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age

Author: JT Smith

Some Free Software advocates have a problem with most anything described as "intellectual property," but this sounds like an interesting conference with some good speakers, including the often conflicting EFF and RIAA. It's November 14, 2001, at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. The press release follows.

Intellectual property protection has always been a contentious field of
study, but one largely left to ivory tower elites and industry insiders.
With the rise of the Internet, however, IP disputes have become a matter of
widespread public interest and concern. Controversial issues and questions
abound: What rights do artists and inventors have in their intellectual
creations? Now that "Napsterization" of copyrighted works is upon us, do we
need to rework incentives for promoting the "useful arts"? Should newer
works receive the same copyright protection as the existing body of
copyrighted material? Or can existing laws along with market solutions, such
as digital rights management, protect copyrights? Is there still a role for
compulsory licensing, or has digitization taken away the market failure
arguments that supported it in the past? Is the anti-circumvention provision
of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act unconstitutional? And when does
"fair use" become an illegal circumvention? On the patent front, are new
forms of "business method patents" a break from the past, or are they simply
a logical evolution of existing standards? Those issues and many others will
be explored in this one-day Cato conference.

A program is enclosed. Keynote speakers include Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.),
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and
EFF founder John Perry Barlow. If you'd like to register online, please
visit http://www.cato.org/events/futureip/mediareg.html.

Conference Program:

  • 8:00-8:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcoming Remarks,
    Patrick Dillon, Editor, Forbes ASAP
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m. Morning Keynote Speech,
    Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.)
  • 9:30-10:30 a.m. Panel #1: First Principles,
    "Framing the Great Debate: What Rights Do We Have in Our Intangible
    Intellectual Creations?"

    Moderator: Adam Thierer, Director of Telecommunications Studies, Cato

    James V. DeLong, Senior Fellow, Project on Technology and Innovation,
    Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Author, Property Matters;

    Tom W. Bell, Associate Professor, Chapman University School of Law

  • 10:30-10:45 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Panel #2: Copyright-1:
    "Digital Rights Management, Fair Use and Compulsory Licensing or Where
    Is Copyright Headed in the Post-Napster World: Legal or Market Solutions?"

    Moderator: Wayne Crews, Director of Technology Studies, Cato Institute;

    Frank G. Hausmann, Chairman and CEO, CenterSpan Communications Corp.;

    Mitch Glazier, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and
    Legislative Counsel, Recording Industry Association of America;

    Stan Liebowitz, Professor of Managerial Economics, University of Texas
    at Dallas;

    Robin Gross, Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation and
    Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression

  • 12:00-12:45 p.m. Lunch-Wintergarden
  • 12:45-1:30 p.m. Luncheon Address,
    Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

    1:30-2:45 p.m. Panel #3: Copyright-2:
    "Technology vs. Technology: Should Code Breakers Go to Jail? The
    Limits of Fair Use and Anti-circumvention"

    Moderator: Declan McCullagh, Washington Bureau Chief, Wired News;

    Marc J. Zwillinger, Partner and Group Leader of the Cyberlaw and
    Information Security Practice, Kirkland & Ellis;

    Emery Simon, Special Counsel, Business Software Alliance;

    Julie Cohen, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center;

    Mike Godwin, Policy Fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology

  • 2:45-3:00 p.m. Break
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m. Afternoon Keynote Address:
    John Perry Barlow, Co-Founder,
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • 3:30-4:45 p.m. Panel #4: Patents: "Business Method Patents: Logical Evolution or Radical Break from the

    Moderator: Drew Clark, Senior Writer, National Journal Technology

    Paul Misener, Vice President, Global Public Policy, Amazon.com;

    Michael Nugent, Heller Ehrman, Financial Technologies Practice Group,
    and former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Walker Digital;

    Peter Wayner, Author, Digital Copyright Protection and "How Can They
    Patent That?";

    Greg Aharonian, Editor, Internet Patent News Service, and Creator of

  • 4:45-5:00 p.m. Closing Remarks
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