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Yale ISP Reaches New Milestones in Hosting Access to Knowledge Conference

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is hosting its third Access to Knowledge Conference (A2K3) September 8-10 in Geneva, Switzerland. ISP student and postdoctoral fellows will join approximately 400 scholars and practitioners from 40 countries to discuss key issues in global knowledge policy. The conference, the largest of its kind, will consider how, in a global knowledge economy, the ability to access and produce information and control its dissemination increasingly determines wealth, innovation, human development, and individual freedom. Panels will address such topics as media and communication rights, electronic health issues, open access to science and scholarship, copyright exceptions and limitations, prizes as alternative innovation models in areas such as health and climate change, access to knowledge and global trade, open business models, and the development agenda at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 

Yale ISP Executive Director Laura DeNardis said this year's conference has reached several new milestones.

“The organization of the conference itself has involved worldwide collaboration with ten global partners and the generosity of seven sponsoring corporations and foundations,” explained DeNardis. “Emphasizing the Yale ISP’s commitment to access to knowledge advocacy and scholarship, the conference will highlight our research programs in eHealth, communication rights, and open innovation models and will include major announcements such as the launch of our new Access to Knowledge book series and the Access to Knowledge Global Academy.”

Highlights of the new developments are as follows:

Launch of New Book Series and A2K Global Academy 

At the conference, the Yale ISP will release a new book, Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development. The book, edited by Yale ISP Access to Knowledge Program Director Lea Shaver in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas Law Schools in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is the first of seven forthcoming books on access to knowledge. Research for the books is made possible by a three-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The inaugural volume marks an important institutional milestone for the ISP—its first venture in the role of publisher. At the conference, the ISP will also formally announce the A2K Global Academy, a new network of academic centers dedicated to research, education, and policy analysis promoting access to knowledge. The Global Academy already counts as partners Brazil, China, Egypt, India, South Africa, and the United States but intends to expand to include more academic centers. 

Kaltura Prize and Writing Award in Access to Knowledge
At the conference, the Yale ISP and the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy (IJCLP) will present the Kaltura Prize to Victoria Stodden, winner of the fifth interdisciplinary writing competition in access to knowledge and communications law and policy. The IJCLP will publish a special volume of selected access to knowledge conference papers in memory of former IJCLP lead editor Boris Rotenberg. This year’s writing competition features a cash stipend sponsored by Kaltura—the first open-source platform for video creation, management, interaction, and collaboration.

eHealth Session
The conference will close with a special session and reception on eHealth and access to knowledge, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and featuring a presentation by Rockefeller’s Managing Director Claudia Juech. The session will discuss the promise of electronic information networks for improving access to healthcare and health information for the poor and underprivileged as well as the challenges of electronic access to health information, including privacy and security concerns, lack of open standards for eHealth in the developing world, the proliferation of closed digital eHealth repositories and scholarship, and technical infrastructure barriers to access. 

Worldwide Collaboration

This year, the Yale ISP has organized the conference in collaboration with the Electronic Information for Libraries (elFL.Net), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Centre for Technology and Society at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas School of Law (FGV) – Rio, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), IQsensato, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), UNU-MERIT, and 3D Trade, Human Rights, and Equitable Economy.

Conference Sponsorship

The Third Access to Knowledge conference is made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google, Kaltura, the MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Rockefeller Foundation. For more information about the A2K3 conference, including detailed panel descriptions and registration, visit the Yale ISP website.