Recent E-Mail Update

This month our focus is on IP Community Outreach, Education, and Pro Bono legal support. IIPSJ is involved in various new initiatives to promote IP Empowerment and entrepreneurship in marginalized communities which we thought you might find of interest.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights: Creative Control

This Fall the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights will launch Creative Control – an initiative which will examine how intellectual property law and policy impacts historically marginalized communities and will provide pro bono IP legal support to community creators and innovators. The goal of Creative Control is to educate community creators and innovators as to the importance of IP rights and protections, to empower online expression, and to provide one-on-one free legal advice from IP attorneys.

LCCR hosted a soft launch of Creative Control at Smith Commons on July 25, 2017, at which more than 70 community creators joined IP experts for discussions on IP protection and how IP law and policy impact creators. In addition, LCCR collaborated with lawyers from the Hogan Lovells law firm to provide one-on-one legal sessions for 22 DC community creators.

IIPSJ Director Professor Lateef Mtima participated in the July soft launch of Creative Control – here’s a link to a sixty-second montage of the launch which highlights the diversity of the attendees and the legal and creative talent showcased during the event:

The official launch this Fall will also include the release of the LCCR  white paper, know your (IP) rights primer and the commencement of the pro bono IP legal clinic component.

IP Pro Bono Clinic Database

We have recently updated our website to add a growing list of IP legal clinics and other resources for low or no cost legal services.

Other Topic of Interest

Recently, a federal district court judge struck down part of the copyright for the song “We Shall Overcome”.  The song is of unknown origin and was particularly popular during the civil rights era.  The copyright was held by several songwriters, including Pete Seeger, since the 1960’s for changes to the original melody and some of the wording.  Part of the royalties from the copyright is used for social and cultural programs in the South.

You can read more in the New York Times article “’We Shall Overcome’ Verse Not Under Copyright, Judge Rules” or listen to a music news segment on National Public Radio “Federal Judge Rules First Verse Of ‘We Shall Overcome’ Public Domain.”

Follow-up on Net Neutrality – Last month we discussed the FCC rulemaking on Net Neutrality.  We appreciate the many comments and questions we received in connection with our distribution on net neutrality, we thought you might be interested in formal comments file by National Hispanic Media Coalition regarding the social justice implications.  You can find the full comments here and a summary here.