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COPYRIGHT AND FREE SPEECH: THE HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE

Krisjanis Buss
Keywords: Copyright, freedom of expression, intellectual property, human rights, European Court of Human Rights ,

Abstract

The relationship between copyright and freedom of expression has long been debated. Unlike the legal discourse in other jurisdictions, most notably the United States, where it is assumed that free speech and copyright do not collide, in Europe both rights have separate legal effect and are considered to be of equal importance. As a result, when an individual refers to the human right of free speech to hold and impart copyright protected material, it triggers the collision between the two rights. This paper highlights and explores these relationships between copyright and freedom of expression in Europe, offering an in-depth analysis of the human rights scope of copyright and free speech, as well as examining the circumstances under which each conflicting right should prevail.