Title: Copyrighting ideas? Copyright on information technology products and its consequences for future creativity

Authors: Christophe Geiger

Addresses: Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies, University of Strasbourg, 11, rue du Marechal Juin, BP 68, 67046 Strasbourg Cedex, France

Abstract: Ideas and information are at the heart of the knowledge economy and are increasingly sought after. Information also lies at the centre of intellectual property, even if it has been traditionally left outside the field of exclusivity. In addition to a recent evolution, some basic principles have progressively fallen from view and the subject has experienced a deep mutation. Copyright, originally designed to protect the author and to provide incentives for him to create for the benefit of society, is nowadays more and more used as a mechanism to protect investment, without taking into account the impact on future creativity. This change of paradigm has had a certain influence over the free use of information, which has been called into question in many regards. This contribution seeks first to briefly trace back this evolution, acknowledging the tendency towards a privatisation of information through copyright (understood here in an extended sense, including neighbouring and sui generis rights) and tries to propose remedies.

Keywords: intellectual property management; copyright; limitations and exceptions; ICT; information technology; communications technology; neighbouring rights; Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works; three-step test; fundamental rights; Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; ECHR; European Convention on Human Rights; copyright protection; creative use; authors; investment protection; sui generis rights; privatisation; ideas; creative industries; law.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2010.029750

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2010 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.45 - 64

Published online: 01 Dec 2009 *

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