Copyright Podcast

Copyright & Social Justice Podcast & Other Articles of Interest

1)  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.”




Please see the following information from EIFL on the Marrakesh Treaty:

EIFL is delighted to announce that our popular library guide to the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities is now available in Nepali, bringing to six the total number of languages for the guide.

The Marrakesh Treaty, which entered into force in September 2016, gives organizations like libraries the right to reproduce printed works in accessible formats like braille and audio, and to exchange these works across national borders. EIFL has been a strong advocate for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and its implementation into national law.

The Marrakesh Treaty: an EIFL Guide for Libraries’ is a key resource for librarians supporting ratification and national implementation of the Treaty. The guide provides a straightforward introduction to the Treaty and its key provisions, and concrete recommendations for implementation in order to maximize accessible reading materials available through libraries.

In addition to the new Nepali version, EIFL has published the guide in EnglishFrenchLithuanianRussian and Serbian.

EIFL would like to thank Mr Pratyush Nath Upreti and colleagues at Upreti & Associates for translating the EIFL Marrakesh guide and for invaluable assistance in producing the Nepali version. We hope it will be a useful resource for librarians, the visually impaired community and policy-makers who are working towards ratification of this important Treaty.

Visit EIFL Resources to download The Marrakesh Treaty: an EIFL Guide for Libraries (Nepali)


3) On April 26 WIPO celebrated World IP Day.  This year’s theme was Innovation – Improving Lives.  On the WIPO website you can find videos on the topic, including videos by WIPO Director General Curry and innovators such as Consuelo Cano Gallardo, inventor of a downhill skateboard and Arthur Zang, inventor of a cardiac care tablet.

Recent Updates

IIPSJ provides an e-mail newsletter containing updates on intellectual property and social justice developments, issues, and events. If you have a topic suggestion for future updates, please email us at

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Recent E-Mail Update

IP Protection for Signature Dance Moves

In recent weeks, a number of creatives, including 2 Milly (for the "Milly Rock dance") and Alfronso Ribeiro (for the "Carlton dance") have filed lawsuits against Epic Games for misappropriation of their signature dance moves in the popular video game Fortnite. The new arts and entertainment blog  "All Rights Reserved" hosted by Terrica Carrington looks not only at the legal implications, but also the social and cultural importance of the litigation. Click the link for the blog.

Harvard Law Library Provides Free Access to U.S. Caselaw

Through a program called Caselaw Access Project, or CAP, Harvard's law library provides free digital access to U.S. caselaw.  Through this new resource anyone from law students and attorneys to community activists and independent artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs can research legal decisions and educate themselves as to current developments in the law.  Click here to access the project website and find out more.

Call for Diversity in Arbitrators
Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z shined a light on the lack of diversity in available arbitrators.  Last month, attorneys for the rapper filed a request to halt arbitration due to claims that the American Arbitrators Association does not have adequate African-American arbitrators to choose from for his dispute with Iconix Brand Group Inc.  While it is unclear whether the claim had any effect on the lawsuit, it did result in media outlets ranging from the NY Times and Wall Street Journal to the Hollywood Reporter and Complex magazine producing articles highlighting the issue for their readers.