Cyborg Law Symposium

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Cyborg Law Symposium


November 7, 6-9pm

Frost Bank Tower

401 Congress Avenue, 11th Floor Conference Room, Austin, Texas 78701

Presented by Borgfest Human Augmentation Expo, sponsored by BDYHAX BodyHacking Con, and hosted by Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody

3 panels, 50 minutes each, 10-minute break

Panel 1: Cyborg Freedom of Speech/Expression

Discussants: Ed Cavazos and Pete Kennedy

Cyborgs may gain the ability to transmit, distribute, or rebroadcast the speech of others in ways that may become indistinguishable from speech that originates with themselves. How do we make the distinction, if possible? Additionally, what about communication within their bodies between 3rd parties--do cyborgs have a right to intercept and decipher? If not, should they?

Panel 2: Equal Protection--Are Cyborgs Members of the LGBT Community?

Discussants: Boyce Cabaniss and Trevor Goodman

Cyborgs and transgender people share some common traits and concerns. Some trans people may comprise within themselves the latest advancements in most aspects of cyborg technology including amputation, transplants, implants, plastic surgery, pharmaceutical support, and re-acculturation--in order to modify the body to project and support a person’s intended identity, Indeed, cyborgs may be at the forefront of mainstreaming the case for non-binary genders and other configurations. Cyborgs will have an interest in safeguarding many of the same gender and sexuality protections sought after by the LGBT community.

Panel 3: Cyborgs at the Intersection of the Rights of Non-Persons, AIs, and Animals

Discussants: Ed Cavazos and Boyce Cabaniss

Philosophical and political groundwork has been laid with regards to rights of natural persons versus other legally recognized persons (eg, corporations, attenuated rights of minors and other legally non-competent persons), animals, and also artificial intelligences. What is applicable to cyborgs in terms of opportunities and risks?

Discussant Bios

Boyce Cabaniss is a shareholding attorney at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody. He has specialized in legal writing for more than 20 years both at the appellate and trial court level. He has handled briefing for clients at the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts across the country, including the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court, the Austin Court of Appeals and other state appellate and district courts throughout Texas.

He has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation with specific emphasis in Federal and state employment matters including the ADA; Constitutional rights including First Amendment Religion Clause Litigation, and Fifth Amendment, Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment litigation involving the Texas Youth Commission; Title IX including major litigation involving the University of Texas and the University of Minnesota; and Endangered Species Act including groundbreaking litigation involving the Edwards Aquifer.

Ed Cavazosis the managing partner of Pillbury’s Austin office. He represents clients in both transactional and litigation matters involving technology. His transactional practice involves handling general business and corporate deals with an emphasis on complex technology-related transactions involving intellectual property. He routinely counsels clients regarding licensing arrangements, development contracts, sales and distribution arrangements, and a variety of other issues faced by technology companies.

He is the co-author of Cyberspace and the Law: Your Rights and Duties in the On-Line World (MIT Press, 1994), which was awarded the Association of American Publishers "Best New Professional and Scholarly Book -- Computer Science" in 1994. In addition, he has published a number of articles exploring the intersection of law and technology in both mainstream publications and law reviews. He is a past EFF-Austin president.

Trevor Goodman is a community builder and the co-founder and event manager for BDYHAX, an event about human augmentation, cyborgs, and bodyhacking in Austin, TX. He has had a life-long interest in cyberpunk fiction, body hacking, trans issues, and ethics.

Pete Kennedy is a shareholding attorney at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody. He has practiced at the intersection of law and disruptive technologies, communications, intellectual property and constitutional limits on governmental regulations. He first earned national attention in 1993 as lead trial lawyer for Austin-based Steve Jackson Games in a successful lawsuit against the United States Secret Service, helping establish limits on the government’s right to seize email. He has represented an array of clients in a wide variety of industries and matters, from complex commercial disputes to matters involving technology, intellectual property, publishing, free speech and constitutional law. Additionally, Pete has developed a unique specialty representing companies and individuals accused of the unauthorized practice of law. He is a past member of EFF-Austin's advisory board.

This event is organized by Rich MacKinnon. He is the executive director of Borgfest, a human augmentation expo and cyborg pride festival. After working on cyborg theory, bodies in virtual reality, and public policy in grad school, he has served on the boards of ACLU of Texas and the Central Texas Civil Liberties Union, and as president of EFF-Austin.

The Cyborg Law Symposium is sponsored by BDYHAX BodyHacking Con and hosted by Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody.

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