Copyright and Access - A Human Rights Perspective
Christoph B. Graber
University of Luzern Law School
DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT: THE END OF COLLECTING SOCIETIES, Christoph Beat Graber, Carlo Govoni, Michael Girsberger, Mira Nenova, eds., Bern: Staempfli Publishers, pp. 71-110, 2005
A core underlying principle of copyright law is that it stimulates creative production and contributes to a vibrant intellectual environment. This has been achieved through acting as an incentive for authors, balanced against the interests of users, often via collecting societies, which are supervised by Government. Changing technology shifts this balance, by moving control away from collecting societies to individuals and companies, through the use of technical barriers to access and use of cultural material. This has the potential to stifle access to information and, consequently, intellectual and expressive freedom. The restriction of information both to and from individuals raises issues of human rights. The relationship between copyright and freedom of expression and information and how this is affected by technical barriers is discussed herein. The chapter assesses how the conflicting interests arising from changing technology can be resolved, through the evaluation of existing jurisprudence and with a human rights perspective. It comes to the conclusion that, as the regulation of such technical measures has the potential to impact fundamental rights of democratic societies, the means of regulation should be created by the legislature, rather than courts or industry. Moreover, the legislature should do so with the possible use of collecting societies in mind.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Copyright, human rights, collecting societies, freedom of expression, intellectual freedom, digital rights managements systems, cultural information
JEL Classification: K11, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 1, 2010
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