Table of Contents

The Intellectual Property Debate

The Intellectual Property Debate

Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy

New Horizons in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch

Intellectual property (IP) has become one of the most influential and controversial issues in today’s knowledge-based society. This challenging book exposes the reader to key issues at the heart of the public debate now taking place in the field of IP. It considers IP at the macro level where it affects many issues. These include: international trade policy, ownership of breakthrough technologies, foreign direct investment, innovation climates, public–private partnerships, competition rules and public health where it is strongly embedded in contemporary business decision making.

Chapter 14: Author’s Rights and Internet Regulation: The End of the Public Domain or Constitutional Re-Conceptualization?

Guido Westkamp

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law


Guido Westkamp Copyright has changed dramatically. The 1996 WIPO Treaties,1 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the European Directive Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society,2 in an attempt to rejuvenate traditional copyright to make it viable for the information society, have additionally altered the traditional structure copyright law. Today’s prominent catchphrases indicate that the former ‘bundle of exclusive rights’ enjoyed by an author now encompasses the use of a work and also entails the author’s exclusive right to authorize or prohibit access to it. Whereas the notion of a use right may be inferred from changes and amendments implemented in relation to existing economic rights, the idea of an access right is closely connected with the legal protection afforded to technological measures employed by the right holder. These measures may restrict access to certain parts of a work or make access to the work subject to the right-holder’s consent. It is now prohibited to circumvent such means in order to gain unauthorized access. These safeguards are flanked by amendments in the ambit of economic rights. Global and European instruments have introduced not only a novel right of public communication, which includes (but is apparently not restricted to) making the work available to the public by providing access at a time and place chosen by the user, but in addition have implemented, at least at European level, a new notion of the reproduction right covering even purely technically caused copies during an electronic transmission. Both exclusive...

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