Title: Knowledge society and freedom of expression

Authors: Jose De Oliveira Ascensao

Addresses: Campo Grande, 28-9°C, 1700-093 Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: This article proposes an analysis of the current debate on the interface between freedom of expression, information society and copyright, particularly in respect to the right to access and use of works in digital environment. The author recalls the importance of the constitutional origins of the right of expression and copyright protection, such as the establishment of the intellectual property clause in US Constitution and its counterpart in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976. In addition he traces the constraints to the right to access in digital environment, which are fundamentally based on the enforcement of technological devices for protection of copyright, |sui generis rights| over database content and further developments of the exclusive granted to the right holders. When not properly adjusted to the information society requirements, copyright appears to become a Malthusian instrument, liquidating the potential for dissemination of information and culture in the digital age.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; freedom of expression; sui generis rights; limitations and exceptions; knowledge society; United States Constitution; USA; Portuguese Constitution; Portugal; US Copyright Act; cultural creation; European Union; EU; Information Society Directive; Copyright Directive; copyright law harmonisation; database content; information dissemination; culture; Malthusian strategies; rights holders; right to access; freedom of reference; constraints; digital environments; cultural production; parody; right to quote; creative industries; intellectual property management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2010.029748

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2010 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.6 - 22

Available online: 01 Dec 2009 *

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