How You Can Create a Better World: A Primer on Ethical Intellectual Property| Pt. 1

How You Can Create a Better World: A Primer on Ethical Intellectual Property| Pt. 1

Background

In March 2017, I began working with CAL on a copyright license. Our intent was to create a license that could be used by anyone to condition the use of their copyrighted works on the user’s *contractually enforceable* promise to protect human rights and the environment across the supply chains in which the copyright is used. This is a three-part post is about the creation of the license, the discovery of some exciting new potential for intellectual property commons and economic activism, and the birth of a new folk hero of the commons named activistartmachine. You can shortcut to our software license here and our Creative Commons Plus license here.

Print Friendly and PDF

CAL's Pro Tips for Last Minute Holiday Shopping

CAL's Pro Tips for Last Minute Holiday Shopping

So, it’s December 20. You meant to finish your Christmas shopping early this year, like you do every year, but then life happened and here you are. Again. You want to shop local, ethical, blah blah blah, but it’s too late to order from Etsy, you missed the renegade craft fair, and there is just nothing at Ten Thousand Villages your dad would tolerate. And let’s be serious, you don’t have time for hand-making gifts for 20 people.

Print Friendly and PDF

Suing to Silence: A Dangerous Trend

Suing to Silence: A Dangerous Trend

Environmental and human rights activists and organizations have acquired some serious enemies. Most of us know that challenging the world’s most powerful corporations is a risky business, but how risky is it?

Print Friendly and PDF

Amnesty Pushes for Criminal Liability for Shell’s Activities in the Niger Delta, Based on New Analysis of Court Documents

Amnesty Pushes for Criminal Liability for Shell’s Activities in the Niger Delta, Based on New Analysis of Court Documents

Last week, Amnesty International released a damning report examining the role played by Shell Oil in human rights violations against the Ogoni people in Nigeria. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Celebrating CAL's First Year

Celebrating CAL's First Year

As we reflect on our first year in operation, we find much to be grateful for. In this short time, we have not only established a terrific board of directors, an impressive group of subject matter advisors, and obtained our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, we have made extraordinary progress on our substantive work as a lab.

Print Friendly and PDF

RadioLab, the ATS, and Jesner v Arab Bank

RadioLab, the ATS, and Jesner v Arab Bank

This hour is well worth your time if you are interested in human rights law in the United States. If their conclusion about Jesner is correct, and corporate liability becomes more limited, we need to be ready with new strategies. That's what we're up to here at the Lab. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Jesner v. Arab Bank: Exploring the Real Meaning of Corporate Personhood

Jesner v. Arab Bank: Exploring the Real Meaning of Corporate Personhood

On October 11, 2017, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case called Jesner v. Arab Bank, in which 6000 victims of terrorist acts allege that the Arab Bank enabled terrorism through serving as the financial institution of terrorist organizations.  This case stands out from the pack of human rights-related Alien Tort Statute (ATS) cases on the facts in some ways, but it is the vehicle by which the Court may finally decide if corporations can be sued under the ATS.

Print Friendly and PDF

July 29th, A Global Call to Action Against Nike

July 29th, A Global Call to Action Against Nike

Nike boasts of empowering women, but its garment workers tell a different story.  Can you imagine the irony of sowing Equality on a shirt for a brand which is complicit in the firing of pregnant women? Wage theft? Mass faintings? Union-busting? While Nike markets themselves as champions of women’s equality, the abuses behind their factory doors expose that the only thing they champion is their own bottom line.

Print Friendly and PDF

Is the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Doing More Harm than Good?

Is the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Doing More Harm than Good?


Since its passage in 2010, human rights advocates have wondered whether they could use the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (CTSCA) to litigate against companies that use forced labor abroad. Hailed as ushering in a new era of legal corporate accountability, the CTSCA obligates any large company doing business in California to publicly disclose its efforts to eradicate forced labor and human trafficking in its supply chain. Here, we take a closer look at the CTSCA and how it has been used to date, and investigate whether a creative litigator could use it to benefit any of the estimated 21 million forced laborers around the world.

Print Friendly and PDF

CAL Co-Founder Charity Ryerson Interviewed for WGN Radio

CAL Co-Founder Charity Ryerson Interviewed for WGN Radio

On July 1st, 2017, CAL's co-founder Charity Ryerson was interviewed by Amy Guth for a segment on WGN Radio regarding the plight of children around the world. Charity talks with Amy about CAL’s recent work and the importance of maintaining the rights of children.

Print Friendly and PDF