Copyright and the Two Cultures of Online Communication
Paul L.C. Torremans (ed), Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights, 3rd ed. 2015, 365-393
Goethe University, Faculty of Law, Research Paper No. 4/2015
33 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 9, 2015
According to the prevailing view, the purpose of digital copyright is to balance conflicting interests in exclusivity on the one hand and in access to information on the other. This article offers an alternative reading of the conflicts surrounding copyright in the digital era. It argues that two cultures of communication coexist on the internet, each of which has a different relationship to copyright. Whereas copyright institutionalizes and supports a culture of exclusivity, it is at best neutral towards a culture of free and open access. The article shows that, depending on the future regulation of copyright and the internet in general, the dynamic coexistence of these cultures may well be replaced by an overwhelming dominance of the culture of exclusivity.
Keywords: Copyright, digitization, internet, digital rights management, net neutrality, exclusivity, open content, open access
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