Intellectual property law is only one of many legal institutions that can help promote, stifle, or govern knowledge production. For example, government transfers rewards to innovators through tax incentives, grants, and prizes; regulates innovation through the administrative state (the EPA, FTC, SEC, CPFB, etc.); creates legal rules and infrastructures that can help sustain or undermine commons-based production; and influences innovation through law and institutions related to immigration, tort law, education, and more.
The First Amendment Salon
in association with the
Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School
Washington, DC | New York | New Haven
March 30th, 2015
Tumult in the Middle East: The View from the White House and DoD
Dr. Matthew Spence was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy in February 2012. He is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on international security strategy and policy for the Middle East, and for oversight of security cooperation programs, including Foreign Military Sales, in the region.
Higher Education: A Legal Perspective
Abstract: After spending over a decade following the standard post-law school career track (federal clerkship followed by global and boutique law firms) I was introduced to the legal issues that impact academia when I accepted the role of Contracts and Compliance Advisor for the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), a University Affiliated Research Center sponsored by the U.S. Army. Akin to a general counsel position, I am called upon to address issues on topics ranging from intellectual property, to real estate, to government contracts, to International Traffic in Arms Regulations and more. In this talk, I will explain complexities behind the most common legal issues I routinely address (intellectual property and export controls) and will provide insight into the career opportunities available for lawyers in academia. For background reading, please visit https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/dtag/ and download the “Fundamental Research” presentation and white paper which is found under DTAG Activity 2013: May 9, 2013.
The Partial Witness: Big Data and Bodies of Evidence
Abstract: From self-tracking bands like the FitBit to the mobile phone, personal devices gather data about us and give us new kinds of insight. But that data can also be used in a range of unexpected contexts feeding into already asymmetrical relations of power: with device makers, employers, insurers or in court cases. This talk will consider how the turn to big data raises complex questions about epistemology, human tracking, and how data seek to represent us.
Access to Knowledge on Wikipedia
This talk will explore the role of Wikimedia and the Wikipedia Zero initiative in the global access to knowledge (A2K) movement. The Wikimedia sites not only provide free knowledge on virtually every subject to anyone who has an Internet connection, but they are also a platform for large segments of the population to play an active role in the creation of knowledge. Unfortunately, this knowledge platform is not available to everyone around the world due to barriers like poverty and limited internet connectivity. Through Wikipedia Zero, this platform becomes more accessible as it empowers people in the Global South to access the Wikimedia sites on their phones free of data charges. Wikipedia Zero is one of several initiatives in the Wikimedia community to facilitate access to Wikipedia and further the A2K movement.
Selling Freedom: Paternalism and the Regulation of Commercial Speech
Abstract: The regulation of marketing is often opposed on paternalism grounds. Indeed, rejection of governmental paternalism was one of the reasons for extending limited First Amendment protection to commercial speech; the Supreme Court held that the government should not “protect” consumers by suppressing truthful information for their own good. But saying that consumers should not be protected from truthful information is a very different thing than saying that all marketing, or anything an advertiser wants to say, is “information” and therefore regulation is paternalistic. The pervasiveness of data mining and behavioral marketing, combined with a more speaker-protective commercial speech doctrine, threatens to turn the commercial speech doctrine upside down. Limitation of the marketer’s freedom to give the consumer more freedom is not paternalistic. There may be compelling reasons for a laissez-faire approach to the regulation of commercial speech, but an objection to paternalism is not one of them.
BIO: Associate Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law, Founding Director, Bioethics & Health Law Center
Details to come...