Express yourself, but watch out for conflict

Copyright and the Public Interest. Second edition
May 28, 2004

The first edition of this book was a trendsetting attempt to offer an in-depth insight into the relationship between copyright and public interest, based on legal research. In the years that followed, more work was carried out in this area, but this second edition is still the leading work on the topic.

"Public interest" could be defined as the fundamental goal of our society. Not only are there aspects of such a goal, but some conflict with one another. Public interest therefore involves balancing these various interests.

Copyright is based on the principle that there is a need to provide a framework for authors, artists and other creators to allow them to produce works and to reward them for their creations - one of the fundamental goals of the particular society involved. At the same time, copyright also plays a role in putting freedom of expression into practice.

Within this principle, however, one starts to see other interests coming into play. Apart from the right-holder, no one is entitled to copy the expression of the work, which may result in conflict with the interests of consumers and the general public to have easy and cheap access to information and copyright works.

This book looks in depth at that problem, not just from a conceptual or historical perspective, but also with an eye on the future of copyright, which is becoming ever-more important to the economy; an instrument that needs to modernise itself under the constant pressure of technological changes and of the global arena in which it operates.

This textbook is essential reading for anyone who seriously wants to understand how copyright works in society.

Paul Torremans is professor of intellectual property law, Nottingham University.

Copyright and the Public Interest. Second edition

Author - Gillian Davies
Publisher - Thomson, Sweet and Maxwell
Pages - 508
Price - £34.95
ISBN - 0 421 74209 9

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