Innovation and Economic Development Examined In the Digital Age
Topics are Central to Digital Americas 2006

The digital age knows no geographic boundaries, and the critical role of intellectual property rights in innovation holds true as much in South America as it does in the United States. Recognizing that economic development is best fostered in competitive free markets reinforced with a proper recognition of intellectual property rights, senior fellows from The Progress & Freedom Foundation will travel to Argentina and Brazil to host events and meet with policymakers and industry leaders.

As innovators
in Argentina and Brazil benefit from IP protection, the economies of those countries will benefit as well.

PFF Digital Americas 2006 features two all-day conferences. The first conference will be April 7th in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted with ESEADE (La Escuela Superior de Economía y Administración de Empresas). The second conference will be April 11th in Sao Paulo, Brazil, hosted with ABPI (Associação Brasileira da Propriedade Intelectual). PFF President Ray Gifford, Vice President for Research Tom Lenard and Director of PFF's Center for the Study of Digital Property James DeLong will participate in both conferences, joined by U.S. and South American dignitaries and innovators.

"We have twice ventured across the Atlantic to host Digital Europe events in Milan, Brussels and Prague," says Gifford. "But the digital economy has triggered dramatic changes in South America just as it has in the U.S. and Europe. Intellectual property protection is directly linked to economic development. As innovators in Argentina and Brazil benefit from IP protection, the economies of those countries will benefit as well. We look forward to partnering with new friends in South America who share our belief that the best approach for economic development in the Digital Age is to rely on the creativity of private companies acting within free markets, with governments playing their classic role of defining and enforcing property rights and protecting the integrity of the market."

In organizing these events abroad, PFF is building on its eleven-year track record in hosting the Aspen Summit, its annual gathering of the digital world's most prominent business leaders, probing thinkers and influential policymakers. PFF Digital Europe 2005 began in Milan, Italy, with Gifford, Lenard, DeLong and PFF Senior Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton joining with Istituto Bruno Leoni to host an all-day conference titled "Interoperability in the Digital World: Open Standards, Open Source, Property Rights and Markets." Additional events were held in Brussels, Belgium, involving members of the European Parliament and EU officials, held in conjunction with the Centre for the New Europe. PFF Digital Europe 2006 was an all-day intellectual property summit in Prague, the Czech Republic this January, and was co-hosted with CERGE-EI, a joint venture of Charles University and the Czech Republic Academy of Sciences, and the Liberální Institut, a Czech-based think tank born of the "Velvet Revolution."

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.