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The Information Revolution has brought into question the wisdom of intellectual property regimes and their relationship to society, culture, jurisprudence, commerce, and government. Intellectual property law is built upon historical notions of tangible property ownership—with the basic premise of restricting access by others. By contrast, the Information Revolution is grounded in concepts of enhanced access and a more universal sense of ownership. Cultural, social, intellectual, and economic growth must be driven by creativity and innovation, and successful growth increasingly depends upon the dissemination of information and application of knowledge. The University Of North Carolina Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity, and the Innovation Process will invite 100 participants to question whether creativity and innovation can fully flourish under the current intellectual property regimes. By making the inquiry intellectual property regimes, rather than just intellectual property law, the Symposium can examine business, political, and cultural practices as well as jurisprudence.

Through support from Red Hat, and in cooperation with the Long Now Foundation and Ibiblio, the Symposium will be held November 1 & 2, 2005 in Chapel Hill and will draw participants from diverse disciplines -- from lawyers to chefs -- to take a hard look at all of the languages of creativity and innovation; in order to determine how current intellectual property regimes affect creative incentives. The Symposium will address key areas of concern, including Copyright, Patents, Open Source Code, Digital Rights Management, Downloading & Peer to Peer Revolution, Public Domain, Government Involvement and Regulation, and University/Industry Collaboration. The approach will be participatory and collaborative, and the focus of the Symposium will be to understand the creative incentives necessary for cultural, social, intellectual, and economic innovation and growth. An open public session will also provide the opportunity to take the dialog to a broader audience.

The Symposium will be telecast and podcast, and an online journal with interactive access will be created to further enable the dialog. Publication will be encouraged and enabled online and, for those who wish a more traditional publication venue, the University of North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology will provide publication opportunities.

The Center will be created at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, and will be guided by the directions, visions, and needs expressed at the Symposium; it will reflect the best thinking of the best minds on intellectual property, creativity, and the innovation process.

Digitization has created an unparalleled ability to disseminate and modify intellectual and artistic expression. Social interaction is global and instantaneous, and economies are increasingly dependent upon intangible, rather than natural resources. In this new world, progress and growth demand that applications of intellectual property ownership must be examined, to see how they assist or impede creative incentives. The mission of the Symposium and Center will be to seek proportional and balanced solutions to the impediments to creative incentives in current intellectual property regimes; and long-term solutions to the problems of the regimes themselves, in order to preserve and promote cultural, social, intellectual, and economic growth.

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