Reconstructing Copyright from 'Copy Centric' to 'Dissemination Centric' in the Digital Age
Journal of Information Science, Volume 39, No. 4, August 2013
Posted: 29 Mar 2013 Last revised: 10 May 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2012
Copy or reproduction plays a fundamental and central role in copyright. In the digital world, copying, especially temporary copying and private copying, has challenged the core concept of ‘copy’ in the copyright system. This paper will reflect on whether the basic and central role of reproduction in the copyright system is solid enough, and explore a copyright system focusing on something other than the reproduction right. It proposes a broad and open-ended concept of dissemination right that refers to a group of exclusive rights relating to the information dissemination enjoyed by the copyright holders. This broad and open-ended concept of a dissemination right should replace the reproduction right as the centre of copyright. Under such an approach, the key provision is that mere reproduction, absent dissemination to the public, should not be considered as a violation of copyright. Such a proposal can accommodate the challenges brought by the digital technologies, and is also consistent with the main theories underlying the intellectual property system.
Keywords: copyright, copyright exceptions, dissemination right, private copying, temporary copying
JEL Classification: O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation