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Comparative Analysis of National Approaches on Voluntary Copyright Relinquishment


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Study presented at the 13th session of the Committee for Development in IP at WIPO, Geneva (May 2014).

Published in: Law, Education
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Comparative Analysis of National Approaches on Voluntary Copyright Relinquishment

  1. 1. Comparative Analysis of National Approaches on Voluntary Copyright Relinquishment Dr Andres Guadamuz University of Sussex, UK
  2. 2. Text Can you relinquish your copyright?
  3. 3. Of course!
 Errrr… I guess so?
 Why are you asking?
  4. 4. Depends on the view of copyright Copyright as a property right: you can do what you want with your property, even donate it. Copyright as a fundamental right of personality: you cannot renounce basic rights.
  5. 5. Terminology Public domain dedication relinquishment renouncement abandonment
  6. 6. Relinquishment (Kenya) s. 45(1) of the Kenyan Copyright Law: 
 “The following works shall belong to the public domain- […] (b) works in respect of which authors have renounced their rights;” s 45(2): “For the purposes of paragraph (b), renunciation by an author or his successor in title of his rights shall be in writing and made public but any such renunciation shall not be contrary to any previous contractual obligation relating to the work.”
  7. 7. Moral rights (Colombia) “Art. 30 (1) The above [moral] rights may not be waived or transferred. 
 When authors transfer and authorize the exercise of their patrimonial rights they grant the enjoyment and disposal referred to the respective contract, and retain the [moral] rights provided in this Article.”
  8. 8. Results by country Country Allows  voluntary   relinquishment? Can  moral  rights   be  waived? Brazil Unclear No Chile Yes No China Unclear No Colombia Yes No Egypt Unclear No France Unclear No India Yes Unclear Kenya Yes No Republic  of  Korea Unclear No
  9. 9. Who is dedicating works to the public domain? Scientific projects (Human Genome Project) Memory institutions Public bodies Very few individuals
  10. 10. Creative Commons
  11. 11. CC licensing suite BY Attribution BY-NC Attribution - Non Commercial BY-SA Attribution - Share Alike BY-ND Attribution - No Derivatives BY-NC-SA Attribution - Non Commercial - Share Alike BY-NC-ND Attribution - Non Commercial - No Derivatives
  12. 12. CC0 Public domain dedication to the extent permitted by law. If local copyright law does not allow relinquishment, then it acts as a “royalty-free, non-transferable, non sublicensable, non exclusive, irrevocable and unconditional license” to exercise all rights in the work.
  13. 13. CC0 adopters The British Library: The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Library Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Europeana Genomes Unzipped German National Library Harvard Library Netherlands Government Sage Commons Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre
  14. 14. And… “As a work of the United States Government, this document is in the public domain within the United States. Additionally, the United States Government waives copyright and related rights in this work worldwide through the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.”
  15. 15. Text Concluding…
  16. 16. Thanks