CopySouth Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, coming up!

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Third CopySouth Workshop

International Conference on Copyright Issues

The CopySouth Research Group is holding a conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the end of June.

The CSRG is the source of the wonderful Copy/South Dossier and the Alternative Primer on National and International Copyright Law, which we’ve written about here before.  Here’s their announcement about the conference…

The CopySouth Research Group (CSRG) invites you to attend and join in the debates at its three day international conference on copyright to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the end of June.

It is an important moment to discuss these issues. In 1710 — exactly three hundred years ago — the first copyright law in the world was enacted in England. Is this an anniversary worth celebrating? Around the world, the antiquated assumptions of copyright law and ideology are again being questioned and new conflicts are breaking out. In Brazil, for example, more than 500 musicians, writers, academics and others signed an open letter in late May calling on their government to reform its copyright laws so that users can have more access to music and books. Meanwhile, the well-financed campaign against so-called copyright “piracy” has become even more vocal and threatens us all… except large corporations. Although three of the most important countries in the global South — China, India and Brazil —  were not even invited to the talks, a new anti-piracy treaty called ACTA is about to be signed by rich nations in North America and Europe, as well as Japan and a few smaller countries.

As we meet, a list of long-standing and complex questions is demanding new answers. Do most musicians benefit from the copyright system and the current way that the music industry is organised? How can we promote far more access to educational materials in the countries of South America, Africa and Asia than already exists? And, speaking of access and sharing, why do so many ideas and so many cultural products flow from the North to the South… and why do so few flow the other way? Can we justify the current economic logic of the global copyright system? And what are viable alternatives to the current system?

To address these questions and many more that you may want to raise, the CSRG has assembled a group of leading critical researchers, musicians and activists from around the world to come to Rio and to speak on seven panels. The speakers are from Brazil (7), Chile (1), Bolivia (1), Cuba (2), the United States (3), South Africa (2), Ghana (1), the Philippines (2), Switzerland (1), and the United Kingdom (2).

We expect some strong opinions to be voiced and some good open debates to occur. So we extend an open invitation to all people interested in these issues, such as students, librarians, teachers, researchers, musicians and information activists, to attend.

There will be simultaneous interpretation in Portuguese, Spanish and English. We hope to see you in Rio on 28 June.

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