gard
townsend@tulane.edu
504-862-8822

Professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard joined the SISE faculty in 2013, as an extension of her real-world experiences working an a academic project with social implications. Together, with her husband, Dr. Ron Gard, they formed a Tulane spin-out company, Limited Times, a research service focused on copyright law, and home to the Durationator® software tool.  In moving the project to product, the Gards found resources along the way, and Dr. Townsend Gard’s award of the Glazer Professorship supports the work both of her primary research as well as thinking of ways to continue to support lean academic start ups, such their own.

The Durationator® is a software tool developed at Tulane Law School over the last six years, which seeks to make the past usable one query at a time by providing legal information regarding the copyright term of any given cultural work in any jurisdiction around the world. This knowledge will facilitate the efforts of mass digitization of cultural works around the world, further support the reuse of culture, and allow copyright holders to have better reporting on the copyright status of their works.  For the first time in the new century, copyright law will be accessible to anyone and everyone.

As part of her Glazer professorship, Dr. Townsend Gard will continue to develop the Durationator®, with its research arm still housed at Tulane, and she will also explore the larger question of how to support social innovation, both from the legal and cultural context.  She and Dr. Gard are planning to begin a SISE Law and Culture Information Initiative in January 2014.