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Guadamuz, Andres
Publisher: WIPO
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: K1401, K7550

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The report considers first the question of how copyright is justified, as this may have some bearing on whether a country will allow an author to make a voluntary statement leading to the expiration of his/her rights. Copyright can variously be described as a natural right, as a reward for creators, as a stimulus for creativity, as a property right, as an economic reward and as part of the public interest. Two justifications are explored, the moral and the utilitarian. The moral justification places the existence of intellectual property as a natural result of the right of the creator to anything he or she produces. The moral element of copyright has given way to the economic one, but the existence of moral rights, particularly important in civil law jurisdictions, continues to strongly represent the elements of copyright as a personality right.

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