Legal Issues and Intellectual Property Rights in Citizen Science | Wilson Center

Legal Issues and Intellectual Property Rights in Citizen Science

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Capitalizing on the momentum from the recent White House event -- which appointed citizen science coordinators in Federal agencies, highlighted legislation introduced in Congress concerning new funding mechanisms and clarifying legal and administrative issues to using citizen science and launched the new Federal toolkit on citizen science and crowdsourcing --  the Commons Lab is hosting a panel examining the legal issues affecting federal citizen science and the potential intellectual property rights that could arise from using citizen science. 
As a project manager or researcher conducting citizen science, either at the federal level or in partnership with governmental agencies, there are certain issues like the Information Quality Act that will impact the project design. Being aware of these issues prior to initiating the project will save time and provide avenues for “lawfully evading” some of the potential barriers. The Commons Lab web-enabled policy tool will be demoed at the event which helps users navigate the complicated laws discussed in Robert Gellman's report on legal issues affecting citizen science
Intellectual property rights in the age of open source, open data, open science and its subset, citizen science, are complicated and also require significant forethought before embarking on a citizen science project.  Please join us to hear from two experts on the legal barriers and intellectual property rights issues in citizen science and collect a hard copy of the reports.
Under the same theme, the Science and Technology Innovation Program will be hosting an event on Tuesday, December 8th from 11:30am – 1:00pm on “Digital DNA: The Nagoya Protocol, Intellectual Property Treaties and Synthetic Biology.


  • Teresa Scassa

    Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Haewon Chung

    Doctoral candidate in law, University of Ottawa
  • Jay Benforado

    Office of Research and Development, US EPA
  • Robert Gellman

    Privacy and Information Policy Consultant in Washington, DC