Communications issues in copyright reform

Date of this Version

November 1995

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only

Van Caenegem, William (1995).Communications issues in copyright reform. Copyright Reporter , Vol. 13, Iss. 3, pp. 72-88.


The main thesis of this article is that one of the Copyright Act’s principal aims is to promote the distribution of knowledge and information, and that any reform of copyright law must maintain this goal and must in a negative sense, not restrict ‘freedom of communication’ more than is necessary to achieve that aim. Now more than ever, at a time of unprecendented developments in the market for information, copyright law presents both potential threats and potential benefits which must be carefully weighed up from the point of view of general welfare, and benefits for the individual author, user, and the user as author in her turn.

First, I will examine the interrelationship between copyright law and freedom of communication, both within the closed doctrinal system of copyright law and from the external viewpoint of a right or freedom of communication. Then I will consider digitisation and the future of copyright law, and will end with an attempt to draw some conclusions.

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