Contested Commons/ Trespassing Publics

An international conference was organized in collaboration with Sarai in Delhi between 6th-8th January 2005 which brought leading IP scholars to discuss the idea of “Contested Commons and Trespassing Publics,” as part of the ALF-SARAI Collaboration on “Intellectual Property and the Knowledge / Culture Commons”.

Conference Brief
The past three years have seen conflicts over the regulation of information, knowledge and cultural materials increase in intensity and scope. This conflict has widened to include new geographical spaces, particularly China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Moreover, a range of new problems, including the expansion of intellectual property protection to almost all spheres of our social life, has intensified the nature of the conflict. Here it is important to recognize that the nature of the conflict gets configured differently as we move from the United States and Europe to social landscapes marked by sharp inequalities in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

In the light of these transformations, we would like to revisit earlier discussions on creativity, innovation, authorship, and the making of property. Is it possible to draw comparative registers between earlier histories of violence and dispossession that accompanied the making of property, and the current turbulence around intellectual property on world scale? In this conference, we would like to push comparative discussions between earlier and contemporary moments of dispossession and criminalisation, between the open source movement and discussions on traditional knowledge and bio-diversity. We would also like to build a dialogue between different moments in media history: print, film, music and the new media, so as to prise open questions around culture, circulation and property.

A detailed documentation of the Workshop is available here.
For a detailed report on the Workshop, read A Public Record.
The Workshop booklet is available here.

Recipients of Student Stipends for Research
Akhilesh Chandra Prabhakar
Branka Curcic
Rajesh Kumar.K
Rakshat Hooja
Manjistha Bhattacharya
Naveen K.R.
Sajan Thomas
Shyamkrishna Balganesh
Shameek Ray
Keerthana Krishnan
Swathi Sukumar
Tina Kuriakose