The Simpson Center’s offices are currently all online. Our staff is available by phone and email. We do our best to respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Information Ethics and Policy: Intellectual Property, Privacy, and Freedom of Speech

Year of Funding: 

April 25-26, 2013

Conference Website

This conference brings together researchers and practitioners from a wide variety of academic disciplines including law, philosophy, communications, information studies, and social policy to consider questions such as:  Does freedom of speech trump privacy rights?  Are intellectual property rights justified in light of free-access arguments?  What are fair information sharing practices between governments, citizens, and corporations?  The conference is intended to address the question of how we ought to think about the normative issues related to information access, creation, and control.

The goal is to begin a dialogue that opens up interdisciplinary research strands that address many of the fundamental issues and problems in this area.  In light of this goal we will give the participants in the conference some freedom to develop their own lines of inquiry.  We are, however, particularly interested in the following topics:
  • What moral and policy questions are being raised by the advancement of information sharing technologies?
  • How should we think about intellectual property rights – do content creators or holders have obligations to share what they hold with less developed regions or populations?  
  • Is privacy a basic human right and, if so, what privacy-based limits should be placed on free expression or intellectual property?  
  • What would constitute a fair information sharing practice between citizens and governments or citizens and corporations?  How far do right to know considerations extend?
  • How should we understand the moral and legal foundations of intellectual property, privacy, or free speech in a world of pluralism and difference?
These questions have both theoretical and practical applications and interdisciplinary discussion of these issues will be beneficial for all involved.  


Lead Organizers

  • Adam Moore (Philosophy and Information School)
  • Cheryl Metoyer (Information School and American Indian Studies)
  • Michael Blake (Philosophy and Public Affairs)