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IPLJ symposium to focus on copyright laws in the digital age

The topic of this year’s Wake Forest School of Law Intellectual Property Law Journal symposium, "Copyleft vs. Copyright: Artist and Author Rights in Tomorrow’s Digital Age," will focus on how current copyright laws are applied to tomorrow’s technologies.

The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 5, in Room 1312 of the Worrell Professional Center. It is free and open to the public.

The keynote speaker will be Laura N. Gasaway, a law professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Law. Gasaway is a scholar in the field of copyrights, and her talk will focus primarily on the intersection of authorship rights and cyberspace law.

The symposium will feature a unique composition with two individual panels focusing on copyright issues in the areas of music and software development and use, according to Emile Thompson, symposium editor.

"We are bringing together a wide variety of legal experts from the music and software fields to discuss these issues," he said.

Copyright law has fallen under increased scrutiny as new technological developments have made it harder for traditional copyright laws to remain applicable. New development techniques, such as the use of open source software, have obscured the need for traditional copyright protections, and instead require a “new look” approach, Thompson said.

“Our symposium will seek to address these problems and attempt to propose innovative solutions,” he said.

Contributing authors include Gasaway; Kimberlieann Podlas, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Robert Monath, Monath Law Firm; and Robert Rehm, Smith Anderson Law Firm.

Following Gasayway’s keynote address at 9 a.m., the first panel will discuss "Comparing the Rights of Musicians, Broadcasters, Students (as reproducers), and the Public. Panelists include Monath, Podlas, Coe Ramsey of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP and Dr. Michael Rothkopf, Interim Dean at the U.N.C. School of the Arts. After a break for lunch, the second panel will discuss, "Protection of Software Developed for Public Benefit, Profit, Resell and Modification, or For Open Source Development." Panelists include Rehm, Dr. Yaorong Ge of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Timothy Wilson of SAS and

Dr. Andrew Chin, UNC School of Law.

The symposium is currently under review for 4.5 CLE credit hours.