Disobedience + Innovation: Inspiring Change

Do squatters, pirates, and protesters improve the law? Professor Sonia Katyal, of Fordham Law School, says that they do in her new book, Property Outlaws (Yale University Press, 2010). She and coauthor Eduardo Peñalver, a professor at Cornell Law, contend in the case of both tangible and intellectual property law, particularly copyright law, some forms of disobedience can often lead to an improvement in legal regulation.  An important conclusion of the book is that a dynamic between the activities of “property outlaws” and legal innovation should be cultivated in order to maintain this avenue of legal reform.

In collaboration with Sonia Katyal and Emerging Leaders of New York Arts, Eyebeam has invited a group of artists, innovators, writers, and activists to discuss their views on the relationship between forms of civil disobedience and innovation. Some questions we’re asking are: What role does disobedience play in inducing innovation, and who lives in the grey areas of the law? Is innovation always a social practice? What makes an initiative successful – is it larger systemic change or policy change? Broader awareness? Hits? Links? Reblogs/tweets? How does financial viability come into play when looking toward innovation? What about productivity, innovation, and the arts–how can some forms of disobedience play a role in furthering creativity?

Stephen Duncombe, Associate Professor, Gallatin School, New York University, Co-Director, Center for Artistic Activism

• Sonia K. Katyal, Professor of Law at Fordham Law School
• Brooke Singer, Eyebeam Fellow; Media Artist & Associate Professor of New Media at Purchase College, State University of New York
• Jordan Seiler, founder of PublicAdCampaign
• Fred Benenson, Digital Activist / Artist / etc; R&D, Kickstarter

Tentative bonus guest:
• Andrew Boyd, Chairman of the Blurb, Agit-Pop Communications; Co-Founder, The Other 98%; Founder, Billionaires for Bush; [email protected], Planet Earth

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