Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Balance between Copyright, Digital Rights Management and Freedom of Expression

Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Balance between Copyright, Digital Rights Management and Freedom of Expression

Pedro Pina (Consultant, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2136-7.ch067
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Abstract

As a reaction to the challenges of digitization, recent developments of international copyright law are characterized not only by its strengthening and proliferation but also by the protection of technological protection measures against circumvention acts. Consequently, in the digital context, copyright is being deconstructed and converted into a mere access right to legally and technologically protected information. Considering that copyright must represent a compromise between holders and users interests, the desired balance has been lost to the disadvantage of the users, potentially harming fundamental and human rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of access to information. In the present chapter, the author describes the conflict between copyright and freedom of expression, how the classic compromise achieved by the conflict’s internalization within copyright law and the provision of copyright exemptions may no longer exist and how the users tend to find legal protection externally, outside copyright law.
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Background

Traditionally, both in the common law copyright system and in the droit d’auteur system, despite their different bases and principles, copyright has been idealized as an engine for (or a means of) freedom of expression by granting the holder the exclusive right to use and to explore his original work, therefore providing him a reward for his labour.

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