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Seminar Series: Intellectual Property
The exclusive right of making derivative works (adaptations, translations, etc.) gives authors a powerful mechanism of control over second-generation creators. Historically, rights of making adaptations and translations were accompanied by norms that limited the authorial power of control, such as formalities, compulsory licences, limited duration or ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ provisions. In its current form, however, the right to make derivative works is a fully-fledged exclusive right, entailing a system of ex ante permission that is common to the “core” rights of reproduction and communication. This means that, before engaging in an adaptation of a copyright work, the would-be “adapter” must ask permission from the author. The current system of exemptions only accommodates certain forms of derivative works, such as parody or satire (critique).
However, not all intellectual property rights work in the same way. In patent law, subsequent innovators can patent an improvement of an existing patented invention, and then negotiate a license with the initial patent owner. So, while in patent law the rule for improvers is “invent first, and then bargain with the patent owner over the allocation of rights to the improved invention”, copyright law works the other way round: the would-be creator of a derivative work must first bargain with the original copyright owner, and then invest his or her creative effort to produce the authorized derivative.
This paper questions the different attitude of copyright and patent law with respect to second-generation creators/innovators. It discusses the rationale for authorial control over derivative works in its historical evolution, and questions whether a patent-like approach would better serve copyright’s goal of promoting creativity for the public benefit.
Speaker: Professor Maurizio Borghi, Bournemouth University
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When & where
1.00pm - 3.00pmTuesday 20th March 2018
CLS Research Events