A Roadmap for Assimilating Authors’ and Users’ Human Rights into International Copyright Law

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Citation: Saleh Al-Sharieh (2014) A Roadmap for Assimilating Authors’ and Users’ Human Rights into International Copyright Law.

Download: https://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/handle/10393/31359

Tagged: copyright (RSS), human rights (RSS)


Dissertation probably [to be confirmed] makes long form of argument made by subsequent paper Toward a Human Rights Method for Measuring International Copyright Law’s Compliance with International Human Rights Law.

Further, suggests a "ground rule" (quote, emphasis added):

circumstances have revealed a gap between what international human rights law requires and what international copyright law provides. To bridge this gap and thus ensure cohabitation between the two regimes, international copyright law should assimilate authors’ and users’ international human rights. One way of doing so is to introduce into international copyright law an objective, acting as a ground rule, stating that copyright protection and enforcement shall contribute to the satisfaction of authors’ and users’ human rights. That is, the protection and enforcement of copyright is not an end in itself but a means for the implementation of the human rights of both authors and users of copyrighted works.

This ground rule is meant to be justified by the primacy of human rights and would "provide international copyright law with a ceiling that would limit member states’ ability to introduce imbalanced national copyright law." Implementing provisions should:

  • "provide for the protection of authors’ right to an adequate standard of living"
  • "widen the scope of authors’ moral rights"
  • "grant users an explicit right to use copyrighted works without authorization for the purpose of participating in the cultural life of the community, enjoying the arts, and sharing in scientific advancement and its benefits"

Also makes a number of suggestions toward implementation of the ground rule:

  • public funding programs
  • public lending remuneration schemes
  • termination rights
  • add moral rights provision to TRIPS
  • mandatory fair use, fair dealing, or exhaustive listing of users' rights provision
  • allow TPM circumvention unless directed toward infringement
  • notice-and-notice rather than notice-and-takedown regime, ensuring role for public courts

Finally, potential venues:

  • TRIPS amendment
  • TRIPS interpretation
  • A new WIPO treaty on authors' and users' human rights

Theoretical and practical relevance:

Mentions open source/commons as evidence that some authors "believe that the respect of their moral and material interests, even when in the form of exclusive rights, does not necessarily require upsetting users’ rights in culture, arts, and science", however commons do not seem to figure in authors' suggestions.