Making Copyright Markets Work for Creators, Consumers and the Public Interest

Jeremy de Beer

in R. Giblin and K. Weatherall, eds., What If We Could Reimagine Copyright? (Canberra: ANU Press, 2017).


Copyright is an important part of marketplace framework policies that  support creative industries. Copyright is also increasingly relevant to  broader economic and industrial policy. Market-oriented justifications  for copyright, therefore, factor heavily in debates about copyright law  and policy reform. In this context, discourse often revolves around  copyright as a property right, which underpins market transactions. This chapter endorses market-oriented approaches towards copyright as a means to promote creators’ interests, consumers’ interests, and the public interest. The conception of copyright as a property right is consistent with the basis of general policymaking in free market economies. Two caveats are, however, important to understand how proprietary rights for creators can and do promote the public interest. First, like all property rights, copyrights are not absolute but appropriately limited by other individual rights and social values. Second, in order to function effectively, copyright entitlements should be structured to facilitate, not frustrate, free market transactions.  This chapter explains why and how copyright’s currently layered and fragmented bundles of rights inhibit the public interest in developing efficient copyright markets.

Click here to access this chapter.


About the Author:

Jeremy de Beer creates and shapes ideas about technology innovation, intellectual property, and global trade and development. As an interdisciplinary scholar, he has published five books and over three-dozen peer-reviewed chapters and articles across the disciplines of law, business, political science, international relations and public policy. He is also a co-founder and director of the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR, which connects dozens of researchers across African countries, Canada and elsewhere to scale up innovation by easing tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge. Also a practicing lawyer and expert consultant, he has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, advised businesses and law firms both large and small, and consulted for agencies from national governments and the United Nations. 

Click here to visit his Faculty web page.

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