Copyright and freedom of expression: revising the Berne Convention.
Commentators' views on the relationship between copyright law and the human right of freedom of expression are currently diverse. The root of the problem lies in the difficulty in balancing authors' rights with human rights in general and the right of freedom of expression in particular. The thesis aims to illustrate that copyright is challenging the effective recognition of the principles of human rights, in particular the individual's right of freedom of expression. This proposition is submitted through an analysis, carried out at the international, regional and national levels, of copyright and author's right laws in relation to the right of freedom of expression. At the three levels, the author's basic moral and economic rights are juxtaposed against another party's right of freedom of expression, indicating conflicts, current and potential, between the two sets of rights. Present limitations and exceptions to copyright law are examined in detail in order to determine whether, and if so to what extent, they effectively safeguard another party's right to freedom of expression vis-à-vis the author's rights. The fair use and fair dealing defences, the public interest aspect, the non-protection of ideas and the term of copyright protection are critically analysed to help unmask legal gaps and inconsistencies in this area under various international, regional and national laws. The thesis proposes that the Berne Convention (1971), generally regarded as the primary international copyright instrument, should be revised in order to alleviate the identified legal inconsistencies and conflicts between the two rights. On the basis that all human beings are entitled to human rights, the proposed revisions introduce firstly, the principle of non-discrimination, so that all authors are protected under the Convention, and secondly, the recognition in the Convention of the human right of freedom of expression, by providing that such right is taken into account in any proceedings concerning the application of the rights granted by the Convention.
AuthorsLoverdou, Athina Fotini
- Theses