Bernt Hugenholtz and Ruth L. Okediji have just published their Open Society Institute (OSI) sponsored report on Conceiving an International Instrument on Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright. The 56 page study is based on contributions from some of the top intellectual property scholars in the world, including Jerome H. Reichman at Duke University and Pamela Samuelson of UC Berkeley.
"The task of developing a global approach to limitations and exceptions is one of the
major challenges facing the international copyright system today. At risk are fundamental
elements of the copyright system which were historically designed to require accountability
to goals and purposes far beyond individual economic gain. As new technologies challenge
copyright’s internal balance, and as the costs of globalization heighten the vital need for
innovation and knowledge dissemination, a multilateral instrument that can effectively
harness various national practices with regard to L&E’s, and that can provide a framework
for dynamic evaluation of how global copyright norms can be most effectively translated into
a credible system that appropriately values author and user rights is a necessity."
The full report emphasizes the public interest function of copyright law (cf. the interests of creators and business) :
"It is a well-established principle of copyright doctrine that the qualified grant of
proprietary rights over the fruits of creative enterprise is directed first and foremost at the
promotion of the public interest."
- and merits close attention.