CICL 2012: Governing Innovation and Expression: New Regimes, Techniques and Strategies


4th Annual Conference on Innovation and Communications Law May 24-25th, 2012 in Turku, Finland

How are innovation and expression governed internationally, regionally and domestically? New multi-party agreements such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) have been concluded. The EU and the US include extensive intellectual property chapters in their bilateral agreements with developing countries. Patent laws are also under reform in Europe and the USA. At the same time, criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights proliferates and the threat of damages may assume the role of a deterrent. Furthermore, the changing political and societal role of social media raises questions related to privacy and more generally the regulation of internet-based expression and communication. The focus of the conference is on such recent and on-going changes. It asks whether such reforms are ?business as usual? or whether they could signify more fundamental changes in the way innovation, creativity and especially Internet-based expression are governed globally and locally. Submissions of scholarly papers on the following themes are invited (inter-disciplinary papers are encouraged on all themes):

1. New Innovation and Intellectual Property Regimes

 Innovation and intellectual property policies and ways of governing have changed profoundly globally, regionally and nationally over the last decades. New international measures bypassing the WIPO and the WTO frameworks, such as ACTA, have been reached, indicating departure by strong IP nations from traditional multi-lateral groupings. In addition, bilateral agreements exceeding the level of protection required by TRIPS proliferate. Universities and public funding have assumed a new role in innovation policies in many states. Patent laws, for example, are under reform in both the USA and Europe. The purpose of the track session is to analyse whether such new and anticipated regimes could involve novel ways of governing innovation and related phenomena. It also seeks to discuss the new policy drivers, substantive politics and problems involved.

2. New Strategies and Techniques of Enforcement: the Functions of Criminalization and Damages in Intellectual Property Law.

 Toughening criminal law measures have been a clear trend in intellectual property law during recent years. We have witnessed global measures including criminal law provisions of ACTA, regional attempts to criminalize intellectual property infringements by the EU, and domestic measures such as the HADOPI-law in France and similar laws elsewhere.  Criminal enforcement of copyright has been active. Courts have given important judgments against individuals for participating in or facilitating infringement online. At the same time, courts have awarded considerable damages for intellectual property infringements. Damages have assumed the role of a deterrent. Yet at the same time these developments could be problematic from the perspective of the basic principles of criminal and fundamental rights law. The purpose of the track session is to analyse the strategies and techniques involved when legislators and courts have resorted to criminal law and damages in intellectual property law. The presentations may also address other means to further compliance with intellectual property laws, such as technical protection, publicity campaigns and various levy systems.

3. Governing the Internet and Social Networks

The Internet continues to evolve and challenge law on many fronts. Social networks and location services challenge data protection and privacy laws. New bottlenecks and gatekeepers emerge continuously, as witnessed for example by the Google antitrust case in Europe. What are the legal hurdles social networks, search services and Internet service providers currently face? How should they be regulated - and why? The purpose of the track session is to discuss the current and anticipate some of the upcoming problems in the regulation of the Internet and other modern communication: which old and new techniques and strategies can be used in governing the internet?
We invite scholarly papers for presentation at the conference and subsequent publication in a conference volume.
Please submit your abstract for consideration to by February 29, 2012 at the latest. Abstracts will be reviewed starting November 15, 2011. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference for peer-review.
Selected papers will be published in a conference volume. Complete papers are due by August 15, 2012.
We do not cover travel or accommodation expenses for accepted presenters. However, we will issue a formal acceptance letter for funding or visa purposes.