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The Exclusive Rights of 'Distribution', 'Communication to the Public' and 'Making Available' Under the WIPO Copyright Treaty: Lessons for Other Jurisdictions from the Hong Kong BitTorrent Case

38 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008 Last revised: 30 Jul 2008

Mary Wai San Wong

University of New Hampshire School of Law

Date Written: March 13, 2008

Abstract

Articles 6 and 8 of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty prescribe minimum standards for the distribution (or making available) and public communication of copyrighted works, with resulting national implementations that have been varied and inconsistent. This article examines the state of current copyright law in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore, in light of the 2007 landmark BitTorrent criminal copyright case from Hong Kong, and concludes that the lack of international norms and uniformity remains a cause for concern in the digital age, where online activities blur the line between physical and intangible distribution and communication. This concern is illustrated by the current spate of ongoing litigation in the United States regarding the distinction between reproductions and distributions by users of peer-to-peer filesharing technology.

Keywords: copyright, WIPO Copyright Treaty, distribution, making available, communication to the public, peer-to-peer, filesharing, BitTorrent

Suggested Citation

Wong, Mary Wai San, The Exclusive Rights of 'Distribution', 'Communication to the Public' and 'Making Available' Under the WIPO Copyright Treaty: Lessons for Other Jurisdictions from the Hong Kong BitTorrent Case (March 13, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1118809 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1118809

Mary Wai San Wong (Contact Author)

University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )

Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-5135143 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unh.edu/marywong/index.php

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