Making it Simple: How Copyright Legislation Can Be Simplified

New Zealand Intellectual Property Journal, Vol. 6, No. 5, 2011

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 566

13 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011

Date Written: November, 30 2011

Abstract

The copyright legislation of common law countries is marked by great length, detail and complexity. The hallmarks of complexity are multiple protected subject matters, in respect of which multiple exclusive rights are granted, and to which multiple exceptions apply. This article continues an exploration, commenced by this author more than a decade ago, about how copyright legislation can be simplified. It begins by considering the nature and purpose of complexity in copyright legislation, and the reasons for simplification of copyright legislation. Approaches to simplification are illustrated through application to actual legislation (in this case, the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994). Simplifications are proposed for the categories of protected subject matters, for the exclusive rights that are granted to those protected subject matters, and for the exceptions that apply to those exclusive rights. The article concludes by noting the role that simplification can play in reforming copyright to respond to the challenges of digital technology.

Keywords: copyright legislation, common law, simplification, Australia, New Zealand

JEL Classification: K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Christie, Andrew F., Making it Simple: How Copyright Legislation Can Be Simplified (November, 30 2011). New Zealand Intellectual Property Journal, Vol. 6, No. 5, 2011, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 566, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1966767

Andrew F. Christie (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.andrewchristie.com

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