Copyleft/Copyright: An Academic and Professional Conference about Technology and Intellectual Property

March 11, 2011
Purchase College, State University of New York

Intellectual property began to emerge in the United States over two hundred years ago with Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. That article linked art and technology and changed their relationships to the world forever. The concept that citizens (specifically, “authors and inventors”) could own the embodiment and distribution of their ideas became one of the great empowerments contained within the US Constitution.
Copyright and patent holders in corporate industry and the arts have entered into a new period of redefinition, caused by constant technological change. In 20 years, the public patterns and predilections for acquiring works of art and technology have changed profoundly.
This conference will attempt to look at old and new processes of copyright to keep scholars informed of artistic, corporate and public interests in intellectual property. It will bring academics together with professionals from the entertainment and publishing domains, as well as with working artists and concerned citizens. They will explore alternative procedures to the process of copyright, often called ‘copyleft’ since as early as 1976. How will the paradigms of intellectual property shift from legal monopolies to broader and less restricted models?

  • What are the artistic prices to be paid?
  • What are the cultural shifts that are coming?
  • What new processes will evolve as our artistic marketplaces change from economies of controlled scarcity to economies of abundance?
  • What will be the effects on creation and recreation?
  • What will the effects be on the academy’s libraries and information services?

Copyright holders in corporate industry and the arts have entered into a period of redefinition, caused by continued, constant technological change.
In twenty years, public preferences for acquiring works of art and public information have changed profoundly. This conference will attempt to look at old and new processes of copyright to keep scholars informed of artistic, corporate and public interests in intellectual property. It will bring them together with professionals from the entertainment and publishing domains, as well as with working artists and concerned citizens. As the concepts of personal, corporate and academic ownership of creations of the mind grow more complex and elusive in our technological society:

  • Will the paradigms of intellectual property shift from legal monopolies to broader and less restricted models?
  • What artistic prices will be paid?
  • What cultural shifts are coming?
  • What new processes will evolve as our artistic marketplaces change from economies of controlled scarcity to economies of abundance?
  • What will be the effects on creation and recreation?
  • What will the effects be on the academy’s libraries and information services?

Copyright/Copyleft Conference Directors:
Professor Janet Nepkie, SUNY Oneonta
Professor James McElwaine, Purchase College

This conference is sponsored by the Conversations in the Disciplines Program of the State University of New York.