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Conference: Exploring Governance Strategies for the Public Domain/Commons in Intellectual Property, Wireless Spectrum, and Water Rights

Co-sponsor: Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment In the cases of intellectual property (IP), wireless spectrum, and water, there is a strong policy commitment to developing access to the relevant resource for the public outside the need to license or pay for access. Such "commons" rights raise the critical issue of how to manage a public domain. In the cases of IP, wireless, and water, the strategies for managing the commons differs in interesting ways that merit comparison and analysis. In water, governmental bodies such as the Colorado Water Conservation Board can acquire and manage the public rights ("in stream flows"). In IP, access to copyrights, trademarks, or patents held by rights holders can be used by the public under certain circumstances that are evaluated after-the-fact by judges (e.g., the "fair use" doctrine in copyright and trademark). In wireless spectrum, the FCC has chosen to dedicate certain frequencies or opportunistic access to un-used spectrum (say, underlay rights or "white spaces") for the public to use without protections against one another. In this conference, we will bring together leaders in academia, government, and practice to explore the themes around managing the commons, culminating in a keynote address by noted law professor Richard Epstein.

Event Details

CLE Credits
General: 0
Ethics: 0