Intellectual property rights and the freedom to share: are the two compatible?

08 November 2012 - A Workshop on Baku,Azerbaijan


One of the fundamental tensions in Internet-related policy worldwide is the tension between the proponents of fundamental intellectual property rights and the proponents of a more liberal freedom to share, which is a unique attribute of the emerging information society and represent the quintessence of the right to receive and impart information and ideas. Indeed, the pervasive and widespread use of file-sharing services, peer-to-peer exchanges and social media - particularly by youngsters - also results in their abuse for illegal distribution of copyrighted content.
This workshop will focus on the tensions between intellectual property rights and the freedom to share. It will interrogate such questions as: Is the classical conceptualization of copyright reconcilable with the practices of online culture of sharing? Are the classical copyright enforcement tools adequate or efficient for copyright protection online? What are the ways content creators can thrive in online environment? What unintended consequences can strong enforcement of classical copyright thinking have for creativity online? What can those mean for the entrepreneurial communities, particularly in the developing countries? How do young people actually use file sharing websites, peer-to-peer exchanges, and social media? How do we respect people's right to profit from their intellectual property while preserving the openness, creativity, and innovation of the Internet?
This workshop will address those questions through an open discussion. The emphasis will be put to engage all attendees of the workshop in a dynamic dialogue and the panellists will act more as resource persons to trigger the discussion. Panellists will provide brief and concise presentations in order to highlight the heterogeneous approches linked to the discussed issues, and stimulate the intervention of the audience. To this latter extent, multilingual remote moderation will be provided, in order to facilitate the interaction with non-Anglophone remote participants.
In addition, in order to highlight the different perception of intellectual property rights - notably copyright - across different age groups, young participants will be included in the discussion. Indeed, we believe different perceptions of copyright and of the Internet culture, have a strong impact on the array of legal and practical solution that people envision.