"Copyright Contracts, Public Policy and Competition: Can Adhesion Contracts Override Copyright Limits? The Answer Lies within Copyright Law Itself"
COPYRIGHT LAW AND THE INFORMATION SOCIETY IN ASIA, IIC STUDIES, C. Heath and K. Liu, eds., pp. 167-211, Hart Publishing, 2006
Posted: 5 May 2008
While in case of anti-copying devices, the means to prevent copying (lawful or unlawful) are technical, the same result may be achieved by way of contract, e.g. through shrink-wrap and click-wrap licences. There are two main questions to be addressed: are such contracts valid under contract law and if so, are they nevertheless valid under copyright law? As a matter of fact, copyright contracts overriding limits to copyright can lead to a number of public policy issues, namely if such clauses can be made binding especially to consumers. The question is to what extent the limits of copyright law are principles of public policy that may not be overridden by contractual provisions and thus whether, if at all, copyright limits can be compromised to meet commercial needs.
Keywords: contracts, copyright, overridability of limits, public policy, imperativity, Europe, USA
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