Innovation Policy Colloquium


Professors Jane Anderson and Jason Schultz
Spring 2020
Wednesdays, 2:10-4:00 pm, Furman Hall, Room 110
Thursdays, 4:00-5:50 pm, Vanderbilt Hall, Room 208

3 credits

The Colloquium on Innovation Policy focuses each year on different aspects of the law’s role in promoting creativity, invention, and new technology.

This year, we are taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying intellectual property with a particular emphasis on topics, perspectives and fields of study that have been traditionally excluded, including critical race theory, algorithmic bias, political economy, Indigenous data sovereignty, colonialism, science and technology studies, traditional knowledge, and biological and cultural heritage collections. In approaching these through an interdisciplinary lens, we will bring different methodologies for understanding IP and its effects within broader social contexts with a deliberate attention to historically marginalized populations.

The Colloquium has two components. In one, leading thinkers are invited to present recent work. In the other, we read background materials relevant to each speaker's presentation. The Colloquium also provides each student with the opportunity to write and present an independent research paper.

Spring 2020 Schedule of Presenters

Thursday, JANUARY 30
Charlton McIlwain, NYU Steinardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Remember When the Internet was Black?
His talk will be drawn from a portion of his recent book that focuses on Black Internet pioneers, content creators and entrepreneurs in the late 1980s/1990s and try to connect that back to the Paper about today's Internet, racialized content creation, distribution, visibility and value.

Thursday, FEBRUARY 6
Stephanie Russo Carroll, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona
Enhancing Genomic Research in US Through the Lens of Indigenous Data Sovereignty
Abstract: As biomedical science advances and generates immense amounts of data, stricter mechanisms of control are emerging by Indigenous Peoples who seek to exert stronger oversight over data about them. Many previous studies have offered no benefit and, in some cases, were misaligned with tribal priorities, thus generating deep mistrust of researchers. In addition, ethical regulations in the US lack community engagement and control requirements. In an effort to be engaged in research, Indigenous Peoples have developed tribal codes, research review boards, and protocols; research principles; and Indigenous data sovereignty networks to refocus the locus of control with Indigenous Peoples. The shift to exerting rights and interests over biospecimens and data have brought attention to the need to develop policies, relationships, and infrastructure. This article describes the processes that Indigenous Peoples have developed for research and data governance and lays the groundwork for more fair and equitable participation in biomedical research.

Thursday, FEBRUARY 13
(née Michelle Dizon), Visual Artist, Theorist, and Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside
Archives of Love

Thursday, MARCH 5
Kristian Lum
, Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Measures of Fairness for New York City's Supervised Release Risk Assessment Tool

Thursday, MARCH 12
Christopher Morten, Technology Law and Policy Clinic, NYU School of Law
The Big Data Regulator, Rebooted: Why and How the FDA Can and Should Disclose Confidential Data on Prescription Drugs
Abstract: Medicines are complex products, and it is often extraordinarily difficult to know whether they cure or kill. The FDA holds an enormous reservoir of data on these medicines, data that sheds light on that precise question, and yet the agency currently discloses only a trickle to researchers, doctors, patients, and the public at large. This paper explains why and how the FDA can and should “reboot” its disclosure rules to disclose much more data on safety and efficacy of prescription drugs, to protect patients, advance science, and safeguard democracy. Though the need for this data is clearer than ever, last Term a Supreme Court case threatened the viability of one existing tool through which independent researchers have historically obtained clinical data from the FDA: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. We present a wealth of new evidence about the urgency of the problem together with a novel argument for proactive data disclosure—what we term “data publicity”—that can be achieved without any legislative reform. We provide a roadmap to data publicity that navigates the two main challenges to data sharing: protecting the privacy of individuals who participate in trials and defeating the claims that companies make that this data is and should remain confidential. Along the way, we show that trade secrecy law does not create an impossible barrier to disclosure, contrary to the view of the pharmaceutical industry. Our analysis illuminates a broader problem that is woven through the regulatory state in our information age: corporations urge us to buy their products and services because they are technologically innovative, yet increasingly they hide the inner workings of those technologies from us. The model we offer here could, we suggest, become a template for other regulatory agencies to permit meaningful democratic oversight of industry and revitalize the agencies themselves in an age of information capitalism.

Thursday, MARCH 26
Minh-Ha Pham
, Pratt Institute
#BalenciagaThailand: How Thai Social Media Users Made Balenciaga Pay for Copying the Sampeng Bag

Thursday, APRIL 2
Rebecca Tsosie
, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
The Legal and Policy Dimensions of Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Thursday, APRIL 9
Anjali Vats
, Boston College
“Who the Fuck Can Make Up That Shit?” Prince, Conjectural Celebrity, and Racial Publicity Norms

Thursday, APRIL 16
Maui Hudson
, The University of Waikato
IP and Indigenous Data Sovereignty: The Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels and Notice System
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between intellectual property law and Indigenous data sovereignty. Intellectual property law has a problematic relationship with Indigenous knowledge, and the new questions around access, control and governance of Indigenous data extend many of the concerns about how IP law can be reformed to support Indigenous interests in data innovation contexts. One area of particular interest is genomic and biological resources - where Indigenous data is increasingly created and collected as part of research conducted on Indigenous lands, waters and territories. With legitimate concern for the capacity of the law to respond to Indigenous interests, this paper introduces the Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels and Notices system. This innovative new system of Labels and Notices functions as a strategic extra-legal digital tool to support Indigenous interests across multiple kinds of Indigenous collections. This system offers new mechanisms to support key Indigenous data governance interests - namely proper provenance, temporal transparency across the lives of Indigenous data, the right of association and the recognition of diverse Indigenous rights and interests, including options for commercialization and benefit sharing.

Questions about the Colloquium should be addressed to Nicole Arzt at or (212) 998-6013.