A blog about Law, Technology, and Music
- Name: Michael Carroll
- Location: Washington, DC, United States
I am a Professor of Law and the Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University, Washington College of Law and am a founding member of the Creative Commons board.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Creative Commons Licenses 4.0
After a significant international public consultation process spanning two years, Creative Commons has released Version 4.0 of the Creative Commons licenses. This effort, led by Creative Commons General Counsel Diane Peters, and the CC legal team of Sarah Hinchliff Pearson and Kat Walsh, with significant engagement and input from the fantastic Creative Commons Affiliate community has produced a robust and elegant license suite that should serve the commons well for years into the future.
For details of what's new and why, I think Diane says it well here.
This is just a heartfelt thank you to Diane, Sarah, Kat, and to all of the affiliates and Creative Commons supporters who gave so generously of their intelligence, legal expertise, and good common sense to make the improvements we now have. Working with this community of talented, dedicated lawyers who have kept the public interest at the forefront of their thinking has been among the greatest professional pleasures I have been privileged to enjoy.
Congratulations! ¡Felicitaciones! 御目出度う！Parabéns! Herzlichen Glückwunsch! تهانينا!
Gefeliciteerd! 恭喜！Felicitacions! 축하합니다! Binabati kita! Félicitations! बधाई हो! Grattis! מזל טוב! Tillykke! Baie geluk! Hongera! Congratulazioni! مبارک ہو! Gratulerer! ขอแสดงความยินดี
Gratulacje! Tebrikler! Συγχαρητήρια! Selamat! Til hamingju! Поздравляем! Շնորհավորում եմ!
Čestitamo! Onneksi olkoon! Gratulálunk! Xin chúc mừng! Blahopřejeme! Palju õnne! অভিনন্দন!
Вітаємо! Apsveicam! សូមអបអរសាទរ
Blahoželáme! Tahniah! ຊົມເຊີຍ
Prosit! Алал да му е! Sveikiname! అభినందనలు! Ngiyakuhalalisela! Ndiyavuyisana nawe!
Kuttyktaimyn! Баяр хvргэе Asengamhlophe! Vadaiyaan! E ku ori ire! Imelu Nke Oma! Arahabaina! Comhghairdeas!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Recent public speaking
From the most recent backward.
Engadget Expand NY - Know Your Digital Rights
Nov. 10, 2013
What happens when your cloud storage provider is seized by the government, goes bankrupt, or won't let you retrieve your data?
University of Pittsburgh - Open Access Policies: Coming Attractions
Oct. 24, 2013
Discussing where we are in OA.
Haverford College - Intellectual Property in the Academy: Who Owns It?
Oct. 21, 2013
You'd be surprised.
Bucerius Law School (Hamburg) - Limiting Secondary Liability to Make Space for Innovation
Oct. 11, 2013
Safe harbors for Internet Service Providers are not just a means of allowing these services to exist. They are part of a positive commitment to promoting innovation. Although some aspects of notice-and-takedown need reform, the basic policy decision in the US and EU to limit copyright liability for these providers has been a resounding success.
American University Washington College of Law - Governance of the Internet: Spying and the Case of Brazil
Oct. 3, 2013
Discussion of revelations of NSA spying on friendly government leaders
Oklahoma State University Constitution Day Speaker
Sept. 5, 2013
The Open Access Movement represents an embrace of free speech values. Even though the Supreme Court will not require open access as a constitutional right, the goals of the movement align with the reasons for protecting the right to speak and the right to gain access to information. This talk reviewed the constitutional relationship between copyright law and free speech and then explained how open access is consistent with both authors' rights and the freedom of expression.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Creative Commons is 10 years old
How time flies! Here we are, 10 years after we launched the licenses into the world. So many happy surprises. The supporters, adopters, and the extraordinary network of affiliates and projects around the world. I want to express thanks and admiration to all. http://10.creativecommons.org/
We still have much more to do, and we continue to need support. I'm looking forward to the next decade, and thanks in advance to all who have been able to support us along the way.
Second Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest
The Second Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest is being held on December 15-17, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. Information on the schedule, live (and later, archived) webcast links are here. http://www.global-congress.org/
Twitter feed is at #gcongress.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Still Waiting on Obama
On Information Justice (Book Review)
Like the other commenters on From Goods to a Good Life, I also enjoyed the book and applaud Professor Sunder's initiative in engaging more explicitly in the values conversation than has been conventionally done in IP scholarship. I also agree with most of what the other commenters have said. I want to offer plaudits, a few challenges, and some suggestions about future directions for this conversation.
Plaudits. In the spirit of showing-not-telling, Professor Sunder's concrete examples of borrowing practices across the world and in different creative and innovative sectors give force to the argument that all culture is participatory and that the real question is who is allowed to participate and under what terms. I particularly enjoyed the fan fiction chapter (and the article upon which it is based), the Hollywood/Bollywood chapter, and the engagement with the thorny topic of "traditional knowledge". On this last, like others, I'm less sanguine about the prospects for greater propertization than is Professor Sunder, but certainly there are ways in which the poor might more effectively use the existing legal structure to exercise greater control.
I also think that building out the case for cultural participation as self-actualization (at both the individual and community levels) is nicely done. To the extent that this book is a response to selected scholarship and the work of certain public intellectuals, Professor Sunder rightly critiques unstated assumptions upon which traditional law-and-economics work is built, while also critiquing the romance of the public domain.
I did not read Professor Sunder to be making an argument for specific law reform - although some options are mentioned - rather than to advocate for a vision of the good. I took this to be a political argument about why and how the cultures, contributions, and productive capacity of marginalized populations deserve greater recognition in society, first, and in law to the extent that this is not already done.
Challenges. On this last point, I would like to understand better the relation between Professor Sunder's cultural critique and her legal critique. Somewhat like a cultural fitness instructor, Professor Sunder urges us to get off the couch, flex our creative muscles and ensure that everyone in society is equipped with a cultural gym pass and the time and support to put it to use. But, time and attention are limited resources. When living the good life, what is the right mix of "writing" and "reading" culture? Can we have both a participatory and a popular culture? Writing in a moment when so much time and attention around the world is devoted to corporate-produced mass culture, I understand why Professor Sunder focuses her energy on the case for participation. "[T]he end is participation in meaning-making and in having the capacity to earn a livelihood to achieve the life one scripts for herself."  But, there are trade-offs. A shared experience as audience plays an important role in promoting cultural cohesion. I would like to know whether there could be a point of too much participation within Professor Sunder's conception of the good life.
This book is directed at the law-in-selected-scholarship, and, very generally, at the law on the books, rather than at the law in action. Fair enough. But, the version of efficiency from the scholarship that Professor Sunder targets is assuredly an artificial one that emerged when Professor Landes and Judge Posner made their move from welfare to wealth as the unit of measure. They, and their followers, made this move without taking any meaningful account of the gap between the willingness-to-pay and ability-to-pay, the distortions caused by money's declining marginal value, the incommensurability problem, and the gap between partial and general equilibria, among other shortcomings.
Moreover, as I and others have written at greater length elsewhere, even when one accepts this version of efficiency, its internal logic, if fully explicated, would likely lead the law on the books to align more closely with that suggested by Professor Sunder's approach than is readily appreciated. The first order question is why promote progress, and how does one define it? Second is whether intellectual property law or a direct investment policy would better achieve efficiency, however measured. The law and economics literature lacks a general framework for arriving at the most efficient choices among these approaches. This point gets a brief mention in the discussion of prizes in the last chapter, but I would have thought it to be more central to Professor Sunder's thesis. Third, even to the extent that creating and enforcing intellectual property rights is justified on efficiency grounds, the subject matter, scope, and duration of these should vary sufficiently to leave more room than existing law does for participatory culture.
Finally, I was expecting a more explicit human rights turn or at least more thoroughgoing engagement with the body of international human rights law in which Professor Sunder's thesis sounds. She does acknowledge the link at pp. 90, 92-93, and 101, but I would have been particularly interested to understand how Professor Sunder would resolve the conflict between the moral rights justification for authors' rights and her argument for a fair and participatory culture. Human flourishing cuts both ways. Your right to preserve the integrity of your work on personhood grounds limits my ability to participate in culture by mashing it up.
Future Directions. My sense is that those interested in efficiency as measured by welfare and those approaching intellectual property from Professor Sunder's approach might well come to incompletely theorized agreement about the proper delineation of most rights. The values conversation may provoke greater disagreement about what other policies might be desirable to support broader cultural participation. Moreover, the values conversation is directly relevant to how one conceives of, and chooses to pursue, the good life within the legal framework. I would submit that this conversation should lead toward a working theory of information justice, which would certainly draw from more general theories of justice, including those upon which Professor Sunder relies. On this point, I would put in a plug for Peter Drahos' elegant and, at the moment, ridiculously scarce A Philosophy of Intellectual Property, which lays a rich intellectual foundation upon which this conversation could fruitfully build. That said, thank you, Professor Sunder, for a good read and much food for thought.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
World Bank Open Access Policy
Two aspects of the policy that deserve special mention: (1) deposit is required; and (2) the policy focuses on the terms of reuse in addition to online availability.
The key features are that World Bank staff are required to deposit their research into the Bank's Open Knowledge Repository. Internally published research will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Externally published articles will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License unless the publisher accepts the CC BY license.
On May 21, 2012, I participated in a panel discussion about how this policy will contribute to the Bank's pro-development mission. The video from that is here:
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Open Access Petition Featured on Wikipedia
Labels: Open Access
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Please Support the Open Access Petition
Labels: Open Access
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
There are many feasible opportunities, but recently, the attention of some policymakers has been turned toward misguided or ham-handed enforcement proposals. So, it's time to change the conversation. Please help by signing the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
YouTube and Creative Commons
From the day Creative Commons launched, we've sought to work with companies that provide content platforms to embed CC licensing as a choice for creators who want a different deal than the one that all-rights-reserved copyright law offers. It's been a long time coming, and I'm personally grateful to the staff at CC and at Google for making this happen.
The CC By license allows others to translate, mash-up, or otherwise adapt these videos as long as credit is given as directed by the copyright owner. I hope that the creative folks out there make use of the freedom that the CC license offers. Stay tuned . . . .
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Benjamin Kaplan - R.I.P.
But for now, I have to pay my respects to Benjamin Kaplan, who sadly has passed. A pioneer in the field of copyright law, Professor Kaplan also set the gold standard for authorial elegance in An Unhurried View of Copyright.
His impact on the field will be felt for generations to come.
Rest in peace.
Labels: Scholarship; Copyright
Monday, April 05, 2010
IP/Gender - April 16, 2010
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Sponsored by American University Washington College of Law’s
- Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
- Women and the Law Program
- Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law
In collaboration with Dan Burk, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, U.C. Irvine
Over the past seven years, the IP/Gender symposium has provided a forum to examine and discuss research on gendered dimensions of intellectual property law. Because issues of gender in intellectual property have been under-appreciated and remain under-theorized, much of this work has been exploratory and pioneering. Topics discussed in past years have ranged from the impact of intellectual property law and policy on gender-related imbalances in wealth, cultural access, political power, and social control; creative production and gender; the effects of stereotyping and of actual and rhetorical feminization and masculinization of participant roles upon intellectual property stakeholders; the gendered development of IP doctrines and doctrinal categories; related issues in the teaching and practicing of intellectual property; feminist jurisprudential insights about intellectual property law; and female fan cultures and intellectual property. The Spring 2010 symposium on Gender and Invention will be highly interdisciplinary, including historians, social scientists, legal academics, cultural scholars, and practicing lawyers.
Call for Papers - International IP Enforcement
The enforcement agenda includes the proposals for an Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at its center, but also includes other manifestations including the expansion of enforcement provisions in free trade agreements, seizures of drugs in Europe, broad “anticounterfeiting” national laws and bills such as that passed in Kenya and being considered in other African countries, pressure on countries through Special 301 and GSP benefit determinations, foreign aid and technical assistance directives, and other means.
PIJIP seeks to promote the creation of short (8-12 page) plain language policy papers analyzing possible public interest impacts of elements of the enforcement agenda. The project is particularly interested in analysis of leaked text of major proposals for ACTA. For copies of the text of ACTA proposals, and other resources on elements of the enforcement agenda, see the project’s collaborative website: https://sites.google.com/site/iipenforcement/
Specific questions of interest to the project are detailed below and in the attached description of research questions generated at a previous workshop on this issue (also available at the iipenforcement site). However, proposals on any aspect of the public interest impact of the enforcement agenda will be entertained.
Academics and policy advocates are invited to submit an abstract of a proposed paper on this topic for presentation at the workshop. Accepted papers for the workshop will receive travel assistance to attend the workshop in Washington D.C. Completed papers will be eligible for publication in the PIJIP Working Paper Series. A Prize of $1,000 will be granted for the top five completed papers presented at the workshop and submitted for publication in the Working Paper series.
PIJIP is particularly interested in examinations of the following issues:
• Section by section analysis of the how adoption of major ACTA proposals would alter the law of a given country (either a current ACTA negotiating country or a country not yet in ACTA negotiations).
• Analysis of the impact of ACTA’s proposed institutional mechanisms on the current international institutional structure for intellectual property matters (including, e.g. WIPO and WTO) and how such alterations will impact public interests;
• Analysis of the potential impact of ACTA proposals or other elements of the enforcement agenda on specific public interest concerns, including
o access to knowledge imbedded goods and services,
o fair use,
o media literacy,
o public media,
o developing countries (including if ACTA were globalized).
• Analysis of the legality of elements of the enforcement agenda under international or domestic law, including, e.g.: Does the US Special 301 watch list program violate the WTO’s international dispute resolution mechanism? Do elements of the enforcement agenda violate international human rights obligations?
Papers will be expected to be 8-12 pages in length and written in general policy paper (ie “white paper”) language geared toward policy advocates, government officials and other interested parties, but not an exclusively legal audience.
Submission of abstracts should be made to email@example.com by April 15, 2010. Draft papers for presentation at the workshop will be due by June 1, 2010. Completed papers for publication in the Working Paper Series will be due by July 30, 2010.
Questions can be sent to addressed to Sean Flynn, Associate Director, PIJIP, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Conference in Miami
The Washington College of Law is holding the Conference Practicing Law in an Interconnected World: Exploring Trends and Opening Dialogue in Miami on April 8 - 10, 2010.
The Conference will bring together law practitioners from the U.S. and around the world to discuss relevant legal issues in areas such as environmental law, crisis management and media, international trade, arbitration, among others.
The Honorable Tomas Regalado, Mayor of Miami, Ricardo Ramirez, Member of the WTO Appellate Body, Welber Barral, Secretary of Foreign Trade of Brazil and renowned litigator Richard Lydecker are among the speakers.
Registration information is available at www.wcl.american.edu/events/miami2010
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lecture at Bucerius Law School
White House - Open Access - Request for Information
Now, in an important development, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has launched a public consultation on the question of whether the executive branch should adopt a more general public access policy for all federally-funded research outputs.
The window for comments is not open for long, so please take a moment to let the White House know that public deserves access to the research it funds absent compelling reasons to keep such research secret.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Please help me support Creative Commons
'Tis the season to ask for support for Creative Commons, and this year I have to make it personal. I have my own fundraising page, and anything you can give to help out would be most appreciated.
As many of you know, I have served on the Board of this organization since its founding in 2002. My primary motivation throughout these years has been to find ways to make it easy and understandable to legally share knowledge, creativity, and discovery. I’m a lawyer and my way of contributing to this effort is to help the organization craft standardized legal licenses and technical tools designed for these purposes. I hope that’s a goal you will support as well.
The organization is staffed by energetic, devoted folks who embrace the mission today with as much passion as when we launched. That’s a hard thing for most non-profit organizations to say, and it speaks to the power of the fundamental idea that we can accomplish more by working together to build a shared culture than by working apart. Just this year, a number of CC’s initiatives have produced these results:
- Wikipedia Officially Converts to CC BY-SA
- Google and Yahoo integrate CC licensing
- Ridley Scott to Use CC BY-SA for Blade Runner Web Series
- Open Data and More -- Getting Copyright Out of the Way With CC Zero
- CC and the Public Sector
- Creative Commons to Produce Open Patent Licenses – Nike, Best Buy, Yahoo!, and others to use
- Marking and Finding Open Educational Resources
Labels: Creative Commons