Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy
- New Horizons in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch
Chapter 14: Author’s Rights and Internet Regulation: The End of the Public Domain or Constitutional Re-Conceptualization?
14. Author’s rights and internet regulation: the end of the public domain or constitutional re-conceptualization? 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...
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