Past Symposia

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7th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
8th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
9th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
10th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
11th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
12th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
13th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
14th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
15th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium
16th Annual BCLT/BTLJ Symposium

February 27-March 1st, 2003

Music is being released on copy-protected CDs, movies on
encrypted and region-encoded DVDs, and Congress is considering the
mandate of technological protection for digital television. The next
generation of information distribution will be defined by the purchase
of rights to receive digital content for a set of defined and controlled
uses. Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems are the technological
measures built into the hardware or software of home computers, digital
televisions, stereo equipment, and portable devices in order to manage
the relationships between users and protected expression. As
technological solutions increasingly interact and even supersede the
laws of intellectual property, privacy, and contract law, it is
imperative for everyone from lawyers, technologists, and policy-makers
to artists and consumers to keep up with the changes.

This conference confronted the controversies surrounding digital rights management. BCLT and BTLJ assembled the leading thinkers from industry, academia, government,
and the nonprofit sector to engage in a broad-ranging conversation
about the legal, technological, and policy landscape of digital rights
management systems, discuss recent developments, and debate the future
balance of content protection, fair use, and privacy.

Panel discussions focused on:

• DRM as an enabler of new business models
• Impact of DRM on innovation, competition, and security
• Impact of DRM on the free flow of information
• Impact of DRM on consumers
• DRM-related legal and policy initiatives in the U.S.
• Anti-circumvention regulations in the US and elsewhere

April 15-16, 2004

A government agency and an independent study
commission issued reports suggesting that the patent laws are in
need of significant reform. The Federal Trade Commission and National Academy of Sciences reports have caused significant discussion among the bench, the bar, and Congress.

April 15 and 16, 2004 the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology held a major policy event. Along with the Federal Trade Commission and
the National Academy of Sciences, BCLT brought together scholars,
lawyers, and policy-makers to discuss both the substance of patent
reform and how it might be implemented.

Government officials, judges, academics, lawyers, and industry
representatives convened to discuss the most significant
recommendations made in the two reports and decided where to go from

The conference featured presentations of the FTC and NAS reports,
keynote speeches, and a roundtable of industry leaders. The conference also included substantive debates on several key reform proposals:
changes to the obviousness standard, proposals for opposition and
post-grant review, and changes to litigation rules.

April 1, 2005

Utah has already made it illegal (although a state court has
struck downthis law as unconstitutional).  Even though the Federal
Trade Commissionhas concluded that new regulation of spyware is
unnecessary, the U.S.Congress is moving forward with its own regulation
which would preemptstate laws such as Utah’s.  Meanwhile, Internet users
are bombarded withads trying to sell them technologies that purport to
detect and eliminatespyware which may (or may not) have been installed
on their computers whenthey signed up for a product or service on the

Is spyware the latest form of malware, along with viruses, worms,
spam, and file-sharing of illicit content?  Or are technologies embedded
in users’ computer systems that monitor certain functions and offer
updates,services, or ads for products users might want an engine of
e-commerce that should remain unregulated and indeed encouraged?  How
does and how should the law define “spyware”?  What kind of notice and
consent should be required before installation of such software is
permitted?  What obligations (if any) do makers of spyware or users of
spyware have as to collection and transmission of personally identifiable
information?  Are some forms of spyware surveillance unlawful, even
criminal?  Does spyware make user computers more insecure?  What
intellectual property rights (if any) are implicated by spyware that
serves ads to users of websites that have their own ads to offer?  Should
states or the federal government regulate spyware, or is effective
regulation impossible given the global nature of the Internet and the
ease with which off-shore servers can provide havens?

These are among the questions that were addressed at the ninth
annual conference, co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Law and
Technology andthe Berkeley Technology Law Journal.

March 2-4, 2006

Most scientists concur that human embryonic stem cell
research holds considerable promise for advancing human health. In 2004,
California voters endorsed a bold initiative (Proposition 71) to fund
stem cell research by the issuance of $3 billion in bonds, which will be
allocated over a 10 year period to researchers.

However, foundational legal and policy issues remain to be
resolved – from intellectual property rights to other ownership issues
(e.g., the form of donor consent), to how (and whether) the state of
California should expect to recoup its investment in the research, to
name just a few. This conference sought to provide insights and
recommendations from leading thinkers that will enable California’s bold
initiative to be successful.

These are among the issues that were addressed at this tenth
annual symposium, co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Law and
Technology, the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, the Berkeley Center for
Law, Business and The Economy, and the Berkeley Travers Program on
Ethics and Government Accountability.

March 9-10, 2007

Predictions that digital rights management (DRM)
technologies will be the predominant mode of distribution of digital
content have been prevalent for at least the last decade. Yet, roll-out
of DRM technologies has been somewhat slower than many expected, in part
owing to consumer resistance to some DRM content and in part owing to
the technical challenges that must be overcome to create the
infrastructure for DRM content. Many digital content providers believe
that DRM content will be good for consumers because it enables new
opportunities for content to be delivered in a variety of packages.

However, technically protected content can raise significant
consumer protection concerns. One example is Sony BMG’s sale of
copy-protected CDs that installed “rootkit” software on the computers of
purchasers, making their computers vulnerable to attack. Another
example is legislation recently proposed in France to require firms,
such as Apple, to disclose information to enable other digital music
platforms besides the iPod to be interoperable with iTunes music.

The BCLT/BTLJ/IViR symposium drew attention to a range of issues
from technological, business, academic, artistic, and public interest
sectors in the United States and abroad. A broad audience of
high tech lawyers, information technology and content industry
representatives, technologists, and some policymakers attended. By bringing
together these various perspectives, we educated the audience
about the consumer protection ramifications of DRM technologies and
raise the level of discourse about DRM law and policy issues. This
conference facilitated cross-disciplinary and cross-industry
discussion on this important topic. Seven invited papers were published in a symposium volume of BTLJ following the conference. These
articles, as well as discourse among panelists, contributed to the
policy debate and to the literature on DRM and consumer protection law
and policy issues.

March 7-8, 2008

BCLT’s 12th Annual Symposium explored the role of
intellectual property – and patent law in particular – in promoting
entrepreneurship and in providing incentives to entrepreneurs, bringing
together speakers from a broad range of disciplines, including
economics, law, business, and other fields. The panelists included
distinguished professors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and venture
capitalists who have been actively involved in the information
technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and green technology sectors.

At the Symposium, BCLT introduced its project on intellectual
property and entrepreneurship, launched in 2008 with the generous
support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
We discussed the current state of knowledge about the field of
intellectual property and entrepreneurship, as well as our plans for
empirical and theoretical research.

To that end, we explored such questions as whether, when, and why
entrepreneurs obtain patents, focusing on the role that patent rights
play in decisions to invest in start-ups and how investors and
entrepreneurs assess the scope and value of their own and other firms’
patent rights in the course of deciding which business opportunities to
pursue. Furthermore, we explored the challenges that entrepreneurs
face when licensing or enforcing patents, looking at issues such as the
effects of “patent trolls” on entrepreneurs and how patent thickets,
standards, and the need to cross-license may present strong barriers to
entry for entrepreneurs.

We discussed the role patents play in an increasingly open and
collaborative innovation environment, exploring the effects of patent
rights on issues such as open source software, open standards,
interoperability and employee mobility. Lastly, we explored the
timely question of whether entrepreneurs should care about patent reform

March 2009 SBN Symposium

Security Breach Notification Six Years Later: Lessons Learned About Identity Theft and Directions for the Future

March 6, 2009

In 2003, California led the way in enacting Security Breach
Notification (SBN) laws, which require data holders, including many
businesses and government agencies, to tell consumers when personal
information has been lost or accessed by others without authorization. 
In the past six years, many breaches have been disclosed, implicating
hundreds of millions of records about individuals.  Many questions
remain concerning the scope of SBN laws, their effectiveness and cost,
the incentives and disincentives created by SBN laws, and the nature of
the duty of care emerging from expanding SBN and information security

The BCLT/BTLJ 2009 Symposium organized leading thinkers and key
decision makers from law, computer science, and economics to present
original scholarship on these issues and make recommendations for
federal data security approaches.

Copyright @ 300

The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, in conjunction with the High Tech Law Institute of Santa Clara University Law School and the Berkeley Technology Law Journal,
will host a two-day conference on April 9–10, 2010 to explore the past
and future of copyright law. The event features an outstanding array of
scholars and other experts from various disciplines.

2010 will mark the 300th anniversary of The Statute of Anne, the
first modern copyright law. Enacted in 1710 by the English Parliament,
the statute represented a marked departure from the Stationers Company’s
pre-modern “copie-right” regime which preceded it. Among other things,
the Statute of Anne articulated a rationale for a grant of
protection—encouraging learned men to write books; it vested rights in
authors; it allowed copyright only in newly created books; and it
limited the term of copyright to an initial term of fourteen years
(followed by a second fourteen years if the author was still living at
the end of the first term), after which the book entered the public

The tricentennial of the Statute of Anne is a suitable occasion for
looking back at the law’s influence on the history and evolution of the
Anglo-American copyright tradition. It is also an opportunity to look
forward—to explore how the lessons from this history might help us
surmount the challenges that lie ahead for copyright law in the
twenty-first century.

Technology: Transforming the Regulatory Endeavor

March 3, 2011
Held at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Booth Auditorium
Symposium, held on Thursday, March 3, 2011 addressed the ways
that technological developments are transforming the task of regulation.

The two morning panels provided a discussion of the broad issues
affecting this transformation. The first panel considered the
increasing attempts to use technology to enhance regulatory capacity,
both by using it to improve government capacity for decision-making and
monitoring, and by employing “code” as a regulatory tool in addition to
formal law. It addressed both the powerful potential of this
development, as well as some of the concerns it raises. The second panel considered the challenges posed for legislation and regulatory
promulgation by the rapid technological change.

The keynote address by New York University Technology Scholar Helen
Nissenbaum considered the question of pre-emption and
circumvention—if technology regulates, why do we need regulation (and
vice versa). This set  the stage for the three afternoon panels,
which addressed that question in three different substantive
contexts: environmental regulation, privacy regulation, and risk

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: Obstacles and Opportunities

April 12-13, 2012
Claremont Hotel, Berkeley CA

The Symposium is an output of the Berkeley Digital Copyright Project. Principal investigators are Professors Pamela Samuelson, Jason Schultz, and Jennifer Urban. David Hansen is the Project’s Digital Library Fellow.

In 2006, the US Copyright Office recommended legislation to
allow unlicensed reuses of in-copyright works whose rights holders
cannot be located through a reasonably diligent search to solve the
“orphan works” problem. Contributing causes to this problem are a
lessening of copyright formalities (such as notice of copyright claims
on copies of works and voluntary registration of copyright claims) and
several extensions of copyright terms. The European Commission has
recently proposed a directive that would also open up greater access to
orphan works in Europe.

Although orphan works legislation made some headway in
Congress in the late 2000s, its progress was stalled for several
reasons, including Google’s announcement in the fall of 2008 of a
settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors
Guild and five trade publishers over Google’s scanning of in-copyright
books from the collections of major research libraries for purposes of
indexing their contents and serving snippets in response to user search

The Google Book settlement proposed an innovative way to
provide greater access to orphan books. Under the settlement, Google
would have been entitled to commercialize all out of print books in the
Google Book corpus, including orphans, as long as it provided 63 per
cent of the revenues to a new collecting society whose job would be to
track down rights holders so these rights holders could collect money
for Google’s uses of their books.

In March 2011, Judge Chin rejected the proposed settlement on
the ground that it was inconsistent with copyright rules that require
that rights holders give permission before commercial uses are made of
their works. In Judge Chin’s view, solving the orphan work problem
should be done by Congress, not through a class action settlement.

The Register of Copyrights has written to key members of
Congress to indicate that the Office would be willing to consider how to
address the orphan works problem now that the Google settlement has
been rejected.

Given the failure of the Google Book settlement and the newly
proposed orphan works directive in the EU, the time is ripe for renewed
consideration about how best to solve the orphan works problem. Among
the kinds of questions that may be addressed in the symposium are: Is
legislation necessary to achieve a solution to the orphan works problem,
or can fair use achieve some of the goal? Should orphan works
legislation be aimed at creating an exception for reuses of orphan
works, or should reusers of orphan works only be subject to more limited
remedies if a rights holder later shows up? What other solutions should
be considered? To what extent is ambiguity about who, as between
authors and publishers, owns ebook rights contributing to the orphan
work problem? What factors should be considered in determining what
constitutes “a diligent search”? Should every potential user of an
orphan work have to do such a search, or can users rely on searches
conducted by others?