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As we all welcome the New Year IIPSJ continues its collaborative work in community IP education and empowerment initiatives as a co-sponsor of

Best Practices in Rights Clearance:

A Symposium By and For Professional Visual Artists and Arts Lawyers,

Presented by the Center for Protection of Intellectual Property at the Anton Scalia Law School at George Mason University, on Thursday, January 18, 2018, beginning at 1pm.

This symposium will bring together scholars, industry representatives, and visual artists to discuss when and whether rights need to be cleared when using the work of others. During the networking reception to follow, students from the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic at the Scalia Law School will be available to consult one-on-one with attendees about copyright questions they may have and to otherwise facilitate further consultation with the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and other Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations.

Please visit the link here at Center's
website for further information and to register for the Symposium.

Please save the date for The Fifteenth Annual IP and Social Justice CLE Program, held on March 2, 2018.   We will send out an agenda and registration information for the CLE soon.  If you are not signed up to receive email updates from us, please sign up in the box on the right side of the page.

Join us as we reflect on and celebrate providing 15 years of continuing legal education on IP and Social Justice.  Each year speakers have included CAFC, ITC, and district court judges, in-house counsels of major corporations, USPTO leaders, and leading IP practitioners.

The annual CLE program seeks to advance social justice by including sessions highlighting social justice concerns in emerging IP issues. For example, at our program in 2010, then Director of the USPTO David Kappos spoke on IP and social justice issues. His remarks can be found here on our website.


IISPJ’s Director, Lateef Mtima, is a guest on the recent edition of the CopyThis podcast hosted by Kirby Ferguson and presented by the Re:Create Coalition. You can find the podcast along with a full description here on the Re:Create Coalition website. A portion of the description is reproduced below.

Copy This Podcast Episode 5: Copyright Drives the Beat of Social Justice

“…While many may think about copyright law in terms of music, books and movies and how to access them, Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law and Founder and Director of The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, points to the Constitution to remind listeners that copyright’s “most important function is to provide people with knowledge, to educate themselves… to share ideas and information.”…

From the Black Lives Matter movement, to the high profile “Blurred Lines” case that has pitted Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams against Marvin Gaye’s estate, and even led to varying opinions across the full spectrum of the copyright community, Lateef helps bring to light copyright discussions that are playing out in communities and the courts in real time today so be sure to tune in.”


The U.S. Copyright Office requested comments on the impact and effectiveness of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions in 17 USC 512.  Comments submitted by Professors Lateef Mtima and Steven D. Jamar, on behalf of IIPSJ and several other organizations, can be found here.
The comments are categorized into the following themes:
- Characteristics of the Current Internet Ecosystem;
- Operation of the Current DMCA Safe Harbor System;
- Potential Future Evolution of the DMCA Safe Harbor System; and
- other developments in the law.

Professor Lateef Mtima, along with several other authors, recently released a book that is now available for purchase. Click here for more information!

In the Information Age, historically marginalized groups and developing nations continue to strive for socio-economic empowerment within the global community. Their ultimate success largely depends upon their ability to develop, protect and exploit their greatest natural resource: intellectual property. Through an exploration of the techniques used in social entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice provides a framework by which historically marginalized communities and developing nations can cooperate with the developed world to establish a socially cohesive global intellectual property order. Divided into four parts, knowledgeable contributors discuss topics surrounding entrepreneurship and empowerment, education and advocacy, engagement and activism and, finally, commencement toward “IP Empowerment”. Experts in the field, scholars, law professors and students of intellectual property, human rights and international trade and development will find this book to be both resourceful and thought-provoking.

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