When Does Freedom of Speech Trump Copyright?

Copyright is a property right and therefore a human right protected under Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights. Is the right to property a more or less important card in the human rights pack than the Article 10 right to freedom of expression?

The Ashby Donald v France decision last month in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg reminds us that copyright is, at least in theory, an open platform. Copyright law strikes its own balance between an author’s right to property and the public’s right to information, but copyright is by its nature an interference with the right to freedom of expression. Copyright decisions by European courts are open to scrutiny by the ECHR.

Read the full report here in the Guardian Media Network.



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