The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life: On Copyright and Human Rights
26 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2009 Last revised: 3 May 2014
Date Written: July 21, 2009
Article 15(1)(a) of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights -- a source of binding law in 160 countries -- recognizes “the right of everyone to take part in cultural life.” This article suggests how lawmakers and jurists might give meaning to this provision, with particular attention to issues arising in an age of digital culture. The authors conclude that the right to take part in cultural life should be understood in terms of the ability to access, enjoy, engage, and extend upon a common cultural inheritance and that realizing this right will require significant reforms in international intellectual property law.
Keywords: human rights, cultural rights, free culture, Article 15, ICESCR, socio-economic rights, copyright, intellectual property, digital culture
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