Copyright Law and Freedom of Speech

Wednesday 8 February 2017, 18:00 - 19:30, followed by a reception

UCL Darwin Building, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT

Copyright law often thought to be designed to embody an appropriate balance between the need to allow copyright owners control over uses of copyright works (thereby providing an incentive for creativity) and the need to preserve some access to those works for socially valuable uses. Increasingly, however, copyright law has been subject to the criticism that it no longer strikes the right balance between control and access.

This seminar will investigate the interaction between copyright law and the protection of freedom of speech from a number of different angles.

This event will include:

  • A view from the US – in particular, considering Google v Garcia 786 F 3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015) and the trend for litigants to try to use copyright law to remedy personal harms or to protect privacy interests.
  • A view from the UK – the impact of recent jurisprudence from the Court of Justice of the European Union tending to suggest that copying of relatively small parts of a work may amount to infringement; and the introduction of new exceptions.
  • In order to reach the right balance, speakers ask: Do we need less copyright to promote free speech (i.e. are current exceptions/defences are sufficiently broad)? Or, do we need more copyright to promote free speech (i.e. the proposed ancillary press publishers right)?

Speakers include:

  • Judge M Margaret McKeown (US Court of Appeal, 9th Circuit)
  • Jonathan Griffiths (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary University of London)
  • Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament, Pirate Party)
  • John Halton (Assistant General Counsel, Financial Times)

Chaired by Professor Sir Robin Jacob (UCL IBIL)