The A2K Symposium: Introduction and Contributors
Many thanks to Frank and the Concurring Opinions crowd for hosting this symposium about access to knowledge and intellectual property. I’m very much looking forward to the discussion, which begins tomorrow and will continue through Thursday.
We’ve lined up a great list of people, and asked them to react to ideas or themes in our new edited book, Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property (pdf and purchase here), or to comment on emerging issues or debates in the domain of access to knowledge. For those who are new to it, a brief introduction to “A2K,” as many of us have come to call it, may help. To cadge from the book’s preface,
A2K is an emerging mobilization that includes software programmers who took to the streets to defeat software patents in Europe, AIDS activists who forced multinational pharmaceutical companies to permit copies of their medicines to be sold in South Africa, and college students who have created a new “free culture” movement to “defend the digital commons”—to select just a few. A2K can also be seen as an emerging set of theoretical commitments that both respond to and reject the key justifications for “intellectual property” law and that seek to develop an alternative account of the operation and importance of information and knowledge, creativity and innovation in the contemporary world.
We’ve lined up a stellar group of contributors for the symposium. We’ve enlisted some of the sharpest thinkers and bloggers on the topic of the “commons,” including David Bollier, who blogs here; Michel Bauwens who blogs here; and Lewis Hyde, the well-known author of The Gift, and more recently, Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership (purchase here).
To that add Marcus Boon, the recent author of the spectacularly interesting book, In Praise of Copying (fulltext here and purchase here). We haven’t yet had a book party for the A2K book, but if we do I want Marcus to organize it.
We also have a spectacular set of law professors and legal commentators, including Concurring Opinions’ own Frank Pasquale, New York Law School’s Molly Beutz Land, Lea Shaver at Hofstra Law School, and Susan Sell of the Elliot School of International Affairs at GW.
Wait, there’s more! We’ll be joined also by Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net; Yann Moulier Boutang who writes about cognitive capitalism; Carlos Correa, one of the leading international IP lawyers and scholars today; Anil Gupta, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad; Phillipe Aigrain (who blogs here); activist and writer Roberto Verzola; lawyer and IP officer at the Library of Alexandria, Hala Essalmawi; activist and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in Bangkok, Jiraporn Limpananont; and Achal Prabhala, a researcher and writer based in Bangalore.
Many thanks in advance to our contributors!