Session III: Issues Concerning Enforcement and Dispute Resolution (Sean Flynn)

Flynn, Sean

I will talk a bit about the politics of international intellectual property, and specifically about ISDS—Investor State Dispute Settlement.
International intellectual property law, especially over the last twenty years or so, has been an incredibly contested field. The last big treaty in this area—the AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement —was met on its release by the mobilization of roughly 300,000 people across Europe marching in the streets. People were marching to oppose the substance of the agreement. They believed that its measures combatting piracy were invading personal rights and the liberties of Internet users. And they opposed the treaty’s process. People marched against the treaty’s highly secretive process. They demanded that rules with such general applications should be subject to more democratic processes. There is struggle not just on the streets, but between industry groups. Steve mentioned the potential differences of perspectives between the tech community on one side—the Googles, Yahoos, Facebooks of the world—and the content producers on the other—the movie and music industries. Copyright is subject to intense political debate, and those debates are what I call “nested.”


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November 3, 2017


These remarks are a transcript of a talk that was given on October 14, 2016, at the Kernochan Center Annual Symposium at Columbia Law School.