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ISP Hosts A2K Global Academy, Announces Research From India and China

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School hosted a gathering of the Access to Knowledge (A2K) Global Academy August 19-20 at Yale Law School. The A2K Global Academy is a network of academic centers dedicated to research, education, and policy analysis promoting access to knowledge. Taking part in the two-day workshop were representatives from member institutions in Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, South Africa, and the U.S.

In a series of roundtables and small group discussions, participants reflected on new scholarly directions in the field, considered key questions facing research, and identified emerging topics for scholarship and advocacy as well as an agenda for future global collaboration. The proceedings for the event include the conference schedule, research papers, a list of participants, and a description of the A2K Global Academy.

The workshop was supported with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as part of a multi-year research initiative supporting international collaboration on access to knowledge, overseen by the Yale ISP.

The project has already resulted in two books, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic this fall: Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development, and Access to Knowledge in Egypt: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development.

Building on these achievements, the Yale ISP announces today the worldwide launch of research just completed on access to knowledge in India and China. The work—addressing topics of traditional knowledge, access to medicines, piracy, copyright exceptions and limitations, folk culture, and public libraries. Research coming later this year from Argentina, Ethiopia, and South Africa will complete the series.

“Innovation is the basis for economic growth and finding solutions to pressing problems,” said Lea Shaver, director of the Yale ISP’s research program in access to knowledge. “But law and policy do not always support innovation optimally, nor ensure that new knowledge spreads as widely as it could. This research offers important guidance to policymakers, particularly in the context of developing countries.”

Continuing its work in access to knowledge, the Yale ISP will host a major conference on Access to Knowledge and Human Rights in February 2010 at Yale Law School.

The Yale Information Society Project is an intellectual center at Yale Law School that studies the implications of new information technologies for law and society, guided by values of democracy, human rights, and innovation. For more information, visit the Information Society Project website.