The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life: On Copyright and Human Rights

26 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2009 Last revised: 3 May 2014

See all articles by Lea Shaver

Lea Shaver

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Caterina Sganga

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa

Date Written: July 21, 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Shaver, Lea Bishop and Sganga, Caterina, The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life: On Copyright and Human Rights (July 21, 2009). Wisconsin International Law Journal 27 (2010): 637-662. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437319

Lea Bishop Shaver (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

Caterina Sganga

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33
Pisa, 56127
Italy

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