PIJIP Projects


Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright

Copyright reform is under active discussion at the national level in the United States and in many other countries.  PIJIP has built a large body of work on fair use and other limitations and exceptions to copyright.  Foremost among these is the series of “Codes of Best Practices” or “Principles” for fair use in specific professions or use groups, such as journalismacademic and research libraries, poetry, and documentary filmmakers.  These codes are jointly developed by affected stakeholders, with guidance from PIJIP and the AU Center for Social Media.

Internationally, PIJIP has organized a network of IP scholars that has produced model legislation a supporting materials for countries revising their copyright laws.

Creative Commons, U.S.A.

Creative Commons – U.S. is a volunteer affiliate of CC focusing on U.S-specific issues and activities. We give sustained attention to policy and legal developments, such as state government support for the development of open educational resources. We provide outreach, education, and support to local organizations and communities that use  (or could use) the Creative Commons license suite. We also provide a home for monitoring, organization and advocacy of policy proposals that affect the functioning of the CC license within the United States.

Intellectual Property Justice for Traditional Culture and Traditional Communities

Members of the faculty have published important legal and empirical studies on the question of how domestic and international IP law might offer appropriate affirmative protection to cultural interests of native and indigenous peoples, and PIJIP has organized conferences and workshops on the topic. Faculty also have been in the forefront of the struggle to combat “mascotting” and other disparaging references to native and traditional communities in sports team branding.

Standards-Essential Patents and FRAND Licensing

Technical interoperability standards are ubiquitous in the modern information infrastructure.  Most of these standards are developed within voluntary consensus standards organizations (SDOs) that are open to broad industrial, academic and governmental participation.  When private actors obtain patents covering standardized technology, they can exert significant pressure on markets for standardized products.  Thus, many SDOs require their participants do disclose patents covering standards prior to adoption or finalization and/or require participants to license such patents on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms. Needless to say, defining FRAND has not been easy, and the meaning of FRAND is at the core of much of the patent litigation that is currently sweeping the smart phone industry.

International Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

PIJIP promotes the inclusion of public interest concerns and participation by academic researchers and experts in the formulation of international intellectual property law, including by monitoring secretive trade agreement negotiations, providing public comments in response to the United States’ unilateral “Special 301” enforcement program, serving on the steering committee of the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, and managing infojustice.org, a news and analysis blog and set of online resources.

Scientific Publishing

The “serials crisis” in scientific publishing, in which academic libraries across the world have been forced to cancel subscriptions to scientific literature due to spiraling subscription rates, can be traced to the significant copyright rights demanded by publishers from academic authors.  Current open access channels of distribution offer alternative approaches to scientific publishing, but neither the Green OA self-archiving nor the Gold OA author-pays models has yet achieved widespread acceptance. We are actively exploring the contours of this debate and formulating proposals to address the significant risk to scientific research presented by the current dysfunction of the publishing industry.

Internet Governance Project

The Internet Governance Project focuses attention on legal and technical regulation of the Internet. Issues of interest include regulation of broadband providers (network neutrality), the role of ICANN and the domain name system, freedom of expression on the Internet, privacy, and the intersection of intellectual property policy and network governance concerning issues such as service provider liability.