Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Law and Technology

Publication Date

2002

Page Number

21

Keywords

copyright, collective management, neighboring rights

Disciplines

Intellectual Property Law | International Trade Law | Law

Abstract

It is a generally held view that copyright in civil law countries is a child of the French Revolution and should be considered an inalienable right of the author, a human right in other words. In fact, it is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Granted, in several cases the economic component of the right is transferred to, e.g., a publisher or a producer, but it remains, at source, a right of the author, the creator of the protected work (or object of a related right). By contrast, one often hears that, in common law jurisdictions, copyright is essentially a publisher's monopoly that was extended over the years to also cover authors.Historically, there is some basis for these assertions, as indeed copyright law in the U.K. originated as publishing monopolies accorded to the Stationers' Company, while in France, clearly the human right (author-centered) approach has dominated since the late-18th century.

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