The title of this post refers to an intriguing conference announcement posted by Ed Felten: The Princeton University – Microsoft Intellectual Property Conference, May 18-29, 2006 at Princeton. Conference website is here. From the homepage:
Typically, conferences addressing intellectual property issues have, first, been sponsored by law schools and been driven by considerations of legal issues confronting the field; and, second, have focused on the application of intellectual property law to a particular set of industries or field of endeavor (for example, music, biotechnology, software, or humanities archives). The Princeton University-Microsoft Intellectual Property Conference will diverge from this model in two ways. First, it will focus less on legal doctrine per se, and more on the consequences of intellectual property law for the actual practices of creative workers. Second, the conference will bring to the table scholars and practitioners in several fields â€“ science, the arts, software design, archiving â€“ in an explicit effort to induce intellectual cross-pollination and drive the conversation beyond the usual boundaries of disciplinary discourse. We anticipate that organizing the meetings in this way will push legal scholars and others to explore new ways of framing and conceptualizing old and sometimes intractable legal issues.
We plan to strike a balance between issues confronting creators and those confronting users. In particular, the unique role of the university (as creator, user, patron, disseminator, owner) will be explored in some depth. We expect the conference to generate one or more significant research initiatives designed to collect and analyze empirical data on the relationship between intellectual property regimes and the practices of creative workers.