ACCESS-RIGHT: THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL COPYRIGHT LAW, p. 125, OUP 2011
76 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 19, 2011
This chapter scrutinizes the notion of “access to information” and attempts to translate it into a vocabulary property law can process and analyze. It turns out that very little about “access to information” as a property concept is self-explanatory. Even less obvious is the idea law can tailor exclusory regimes around information. In order to provide the theoretical foundation for discussion about such questions, this chapter introduces and explains concepts called “access-right” and “rights-of-access.”
These framework definitions usher the next stage, in which the interrelations between the access-right and digital copyright legislation are being investigated more closely. It is suggested to view the access-right and rights-of access as analytical tools that integrate the discussion presented in the previous two chapters concerning “information” and “property” — by applying “access” as the analytical glue making “information” and “property” seem belong in the same conversation.
The analysis further explored three main routes as potential legal sources to rights-of-access: copyright law, free speech law, and human rights law. It concluded positive copyright law itself does not provide a solid and sufficiently explicit basis for such rights. Also the remaining routes prove largely incapable of safeguard rights-of-access, especially when the information at issue is subject to copyright exclusivity. Copyright rules, free speech law, and access to information as a fundamental human right have not been able to counterbalance copyright exclusivity to a satisfactory degree. This might call for further investigation on how to build the necessary protections into the body of copyright law itself, a task attended to in some of the next chapters of this book.
Keywords: access-right, right-of-access, property, information, copyright
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