PIJIP Hosts the 2023 Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights Annual Meeting and Symposium

May, 2023

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Opening Panel, May 18th symposium on Protection of Copyright User Rights from Contractual Override, Moderated by Prof. Michael Carroll

On May 17-19, PIJIP hosted the Global Expert Network on Copyright User Rights Annual Meeting and Symposium. The main event, a Public Symposium on the "Protection of Copyright User Rights from Contractual Override," was co-hosted by the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries. The annual meeting also featured two days of private workshops on contractual override and other issues related to copyright user rights. The event brought together 166 people from 20 countries.

Private sessions on May 17th featured presentations of legal and empirical research underway by members of the Network and a roundtable discussion on "Challenge of Generative AI in Copyright Reform Debates." The Network also held a business meeting in which we approved the addition of the following new members: 

  • Bita Amani, Queen's University, Canada
  • Pascale Chaperdain, University of Windsor, Canada
  • Estelle Derclaye, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Jennie Rose Halprin, Library Futures, NYU Engelberg Center, United States
  • Cesar Ramirez-Montes, Leeds University, United Kingdom
  • Graham Reynolds, University of British Colombia, Canada
  • Guy Rub, Ohio State University, United States
  • Leanne Wiseman, Griffith University, Australia

The 17th also included a meeting of the Advisory Board on the Project on the Right to Research in International Copyright, which operates as a committee of the Network. We admitted the following new members of the Board:

  • Jeremy DeBeer, University of Ottawa, Centre for Law, Technology, and Society
  • Rodrigo Corredor, Department of Law and Economics, Externado University of Colombia/Uni Distance
  • Julio Gaitan Isur, Universidad Del Rosario
  • Melissa Omino, Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), Strathmore University, Kenya
  • Desmond Oriakhogba, University of the Western Cape
  • Sanya Samtani, Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Caterina Sganga, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

The second day was the public symposium on the contractual ride of copyright user rights. It is a well-accepted principle in international and domestic copyright law that users' rights are a fundamental part of the system. However, licenses under which users obtain access to content often inhibit the use that copyright law otherwise permits.  International and domestic copyright deal with this problem of restrictions on user rights in a piecemeal fashion. Taking this into account, the symposium focused on the following three questions: 

  • Why have some jurisdictions adopted protections from contract override and not others?
  • What impacts have protections from contract override had on both licensors and licensees in the jurisdictions where they have been adopted?
  • In jurisdictions where protections from contract override have not been adopted, such as the United States, are there alternative legal theories that could have the same effect? 

The Public Symposium's full agenda from the program is here, and a background paper by Jonathan Band on the issue is here.

The final day, organized by the Library Copyright Alliance, featured a series of private discussions seeking effective strategies to protect user rights from contractual override.