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Daniel Gervais

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(Re)structuring Copyright

A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform

Daniel J. Gervais

In this bold and persuasive work Daniel Gervais, one of the world’s leading thinkers on the subject of intellectual property, argues that the international copyright system is in need of a root and branch rethink. As the Internet alters the world in which copyright operates beyond all recognition, a world increasingly defined by the might of online intermediaries and spawning a generation who are simultaneously authors, users and re-users of creative works, the structure of copyright in its current form is inadequate and unfit for purpose. This ambitious and far-reaching book sets out to diagnose in some detail the problems faced by copyright, before eloquently mapping out a path for comprehensive and structured reform. It contributes a reasoned and novel voice to a debate that is all too often driven by ignorance and partisan self-interest.
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______ Act of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform

Daniel J. Gervais

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Copyright in common law jurisdictions

A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform

Daniel J. Gervais

The history of copyright in common law jurisdictions going back to the Statute of Anne was a mostly haphazard process of rights accretion. The complexity grew but because copyright was mostly used by and traded between professionals, the system functioned relatively well. With the advent of the Internet, the absence of physical media to distribute copyright material and the attempts to control the behaviour of individual users online is leading to a deep reconsideration of both the objectives and method of enforcing and using copyright.

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The international emergence of author’s rights

A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform

Daniel J. Gervais

The main international copyright treaty, the Berne Convention dates back to 1866. It was last revised in 1971. It is lagging behind decades of intellectual and technological development. It protects rights but leaves exceptions and limitations mostly as unregulated policy space. It is anchored in European notions of authorship that had purchase in eighteenthand nineteenth century Europe, and to a large extent still do today. The importance of attribution but also the need—indeed the right—of authors to reuse pre-existing material, especially ideas, was also well established. Modern and postmodern critique of the Author have led to new insights on the role of copyright. The Berne Convention’s prohibition against formalities also seems at odds with the ability to acquire, process and make available many forms of metadata. The TRIPS Agreement, though it is more recent (1994) did not add much to the Convention’s substantive provisions.