In the first of three blogs about CREATe participation at conferences in summer 2023, we report on the 14th Annual Workshop of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP). This year’s workshop was hosted by the S. Horowitz Institute for Intellectual Property and the David Berg Institute for Law & History, at the Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University.
At this difficult time in the Middle East, it is heartening to reflect again on a recent more peaceful moment, when Tel Aviv was a place for discussing, as previously posted on this blog, ‘Intellectual Property: Migration’: the relation between IP and ‘the movement of people, practices, and technologies from one place to another, crossing physical borders and metaphysical barriers.’ CREATe takes a close interest in ISHTIP’s activities, having hosted the 8th Annual Workshop in 2016 and we were delighted that the 2023 workshop included papers from two CREATe PhD students: Aline Iramina and Nika Abkowicz-Bieńko. We are very happy to post their thoughts on attending an ISHTIP workshop for the first time.
Aline Iramina reflects as follows:
‘I had the pleasure of presenting with Dr Maayan Perel (University of Haifa) and Professor Niva Elkin-Koren (Tel Aviv University) the paper ‘Paving the way for the Right to Research Platform Data’, which I have been working on since last year as part of a research fellowship at the Meir Shamgar Center for Digital Law & Innovation at Tel Aviv University. In this work-in-progress paper, we discuss the importance of platform data for research purposes. We also analyse how the new EU legal framework, in particular the Digital Services Act (DSA), is paving the way for a right to research in the EU, but with clear limitations, and we propose some possible solutions to guarantee researchers more access to platform data. Dr. Ofer Tur-Sinai (Ono Academic College) was assigned as the discussant of our paper and it was a great opportunity to receive insightful and very helpful feedback from an experienced researcher. I really enjoyed the presentations by fellow doctoral researchers. From the other papers, I particularly enjoyed ‘Who Framed Mickey Mouse? The Migration of Copyright Term Extension to the United States’ by Dr Zvi Rosen (South Illinois University, School of Law). In this paper, Rosen challenges the conventional narrative that the interests of Disney, in copyright relating to the Mickey Mouse character, are the key factor explaining why US Congress decided to extend copyright protection by 20 years in 1998 (to the life of the author plus seventy years). As a copyright researcher who always found this narrative compelling, it was interesting to hear Dr Rosen’s view: in fact, the main reason for US term extension was parity with the EU Directive (1993) – there was a migration of the new copyright term rules from Europe to the US – and also, in the US, there was a broad coalition of copyright interests that supported term extension, including the Motion Picture Association of America, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and others. As someone who is used to researching the different aspects of IP mainly from a policy perspective, and looking more at the future of the IP system in light of the impact of new technologies, it was very interesting to view issues from historical and theoretical perspectives.’
Nika Abkowicz-Bieńko comments as follows:
‘I presented a paper, ‘Exclusivity by Courtesy: Comparing Modern and Historical Community Practices in the Absence of Copyright’, which compared the historical practice of ‘courtesy copyright’ operating in the absence of copyright protection with the modern practice of ‘translate until licensed’ in online fan translation communities, which operates in the context of copyright infringement. I received helpful and insightful comments as well as suggestions for further research. In general, the level of feedback and engagement with presentations was very high at ISHTIP and the atmosphere friendly. As a young and early career researcher, I was made to feel welcome. Of the other presentations, like Aline, I enjoyed Dr Zvi Rosen’s engaging paper ‘Who Framed Mickey Mouse?’. I also enjoyed ‘Borrowing Goodwill’ by Dr Barabara Lauriat (Texas Tech University, School of Law) which discussed the history of goodwill, and in particular historical transactions (primarily in the 17th and 18th centuries) for the sale of a business along with its goodwill by old proprietors, who thus exchanged their life’s work for a retirement sum, or by their widows. I was particularly interested in these transactions as means by which women could achieve financial security for themselves. Another presentation I particularly enjoyed was ‘Copyright Reform and Legal Consciousness in Turkey’s Music Sector’ by Dr Dave Fossum (Arizona State University) which discussed the conceptualisation and understanding of the operation of Turkish copyright law by participants in the music industry.’
The full programme for the 2023 ISHTIP conference is available online. The 2023 Workshop was organised by Michael Birnhack and Niva Elkin-Koren (both of TAU Law). CREATe are delighted that Michael Birnhack will be delivering a future online talk about the history of trade mark law in British Mandate Palestine as part of The CREATe Trade Mark Seminar Series in 2023-2024. Further details of this event will be announced on this blog, but to be added to the mailing list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .