Copycamp is returning to Warsaw, and wants your papers on "How exclusive rights affect real life"

The latest Copycamp call for papers is up, inviting presentations for the excellent Warsaw symposium on copyright, innovation and freedom — now six years old!

The theme goes beyond copyright this year, and invites submissions on, "business models, heritage digitisation, remix"; "health, food, security, and exclusive rights"; "text and data mining, machine learning, online education"; "IoT: autonomous cars, smart homes, wearables"; "hacking government data, public procurement, public aid in culture."

Copyright influences everyone's life. Certainly, it forms the framework for the creation and circulation of culture as each artist has to adjust to copyright when building upon others' work or when planning to make a living from his or her creativity. But copyright-protected works are also used in education, research, and technology. So all of us active in those areas are affected as well. Thus, we have to address the resulting issues in a neutral, multi-sided debate involving all interested parties. Since 2012, the Modern Poland Foundation has organised the annual international CopyCamp conference to provide a forum for such a debate. At CopyCamp we discuss the law, but it is not a legal conference. In the last 5 years, we have succeeded in making CopyCamp the biggest conference on social and economic aspects of copyright in Europe. Over this time, we have facilitated exchange of ideas between 250 speakers from all over Europe and abroad.

But copyright is just one piece of a bigger puzzle. We observe attempts to subject all types of information and its various embodiments to different forms of exclusivity. Patents are just one example of how such exclusivity may be secured using legal means other than copyright. Technology (the so-called DRM) is an alternative means that may be used to appropriate information goods by simply making them unusable without authorisation.

As a result there is a need to broaden the scope of the debate, for example to such areas as health and food. All of us, not just artists, teachers, or scientists should be concerned with questions such as: Who owns medicines and equipment necessary to provide health care? Who owns grain and machines used to harvest it if they are protected with patent-like rights or DRM? What does it mean to own exclusive rights to software and data used to construct autonomous agents? What will it mean in the near future for traditional concepts such as property or personality?

CopyCamp 2017: "Beyond copyright: how do exclusive rights affect real life?" – Call for papers

[Krzysztof Siewicz/Kluwer Copyright Blog]