The Role of Copyright in Helping Build a Just and Inclusive Society

Event date
22 February 2024
Event time
17:15 - 18:30
Oxford week
HT 6
Law Board Room - St Cross Building

Graham Reynolds

This paper starts from the premise that the kind of society that we should strive to build is one that is just and inclusive. What, then, is the role of copyright in helping build this society? This paper will argue that a just and inclusive society is one in which everyone has the opportunity to learn, create, and communicate in an environment that is safe and secure. Copyright can play an important role in helping build such a society, both by granting exclusive rights to creators and by limiting the scope of these rights, including through defences and limitations to infringement (or user rights). Having said this, copyright can only do so much. In order to help build the kind of society described above, copyright needs to be embedded within, and viewed as part of, a broader system that includes other supports or incentives to enable parties to experience, create, and disseminate works in an environment that is safe and secure. This paper will describe a range of supports and incentives that can complement copyright in helping to achieve this goal. It will also highlight a number of elements of copyright regimes that cut against this goal, and on this basis should be reformed. Ultimately, this paper advocates for a view of copyright not as economic incentive or reward, but instead as a critical piece of a broader social policy, the goal of which is to help build a just and inclusive society for all.  


Talk to be followed by drinks and nibbles. 


Found within

Intellectual Property Law