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Title: Rebalancing copyright law
Author: Adduono, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 7018
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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This research focuses on copyright law particularly its ability to provide for the competing needs of both the public and rights holders. The arrival of the internet has brought copyright to the forefront of legal, political and public discussion and has presented copyright law with a unique challenge. The internet although enabling creators to disseminate their works to a wider audience has also facilitated free illegal access to copyrighted materials. This has not only undermined copyright’s effectiveness and caused chaos but has questioned the very legitimacy of the entire concept of copyright. This research discusses copyright law specifically how the concept of balance between right holders and the public originated and if this fundamental concept is maintained in current law. Focus is given to the founding principles of modern copyright law in the Statute of Anne 1710 and Donaldson v Beckett where copyright was deemed to have a dual purpose. The first purpose of copyright is to protect the interests of rights holders so they are incentivised to create socially useful works and can exploit their work. The second opposing purpose of copyright is to protect the interests of the public so knowledge is disseminated, learning is encouraged and the public can adequately access copyrighted works. Although a suitable balance between these rival purposes was once achieved, this research will discuss the changing dynamic between rights holders and the public. This will involve discussion of the history of copyright law as well as the impact of areas such as human rights, copyright subsistence and fair dealing. My motivation for this research is that copyright law is currently facing a crisis with widespread infringement and disregard for the law through piracy. Governments are failing to enforce copyright law and public support for copyright is diminishing. This research is important because governments have repeatedly tried to solve the crisis however these attempts have been unsuccessful and piracy has become commonplace. The current governmental approach is to continue copyright expansion for rights holders and to introduce harsher legislation against users. My research aims to embark on a fundamental reassessment of the nature of copyright itself, what is the purpose of copyright and the competence of current legislation to meet these purposes. This will involve discussion of key internal and external components of the copyright regime to assess their ability to achieve these purposes and protect the interests of both right holders and the public. The thesis will conclude the abovementioned components, current legislation and case law favours the economic interests of right holders above the interests of the public and that a series of reforms are necessary to rebalance copyright law. The thesis makes a contribution to copyright academic discussion by providing a framework for a balanced copyright regime where the interests of the public are a fundamental guiding principle. The overall aim is for the public to be considered equally alongside rights.
Supervisor: Nwabueze, Remigius Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K Law (General)