Are Copyrights Compatible with Human Rights ?

Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):5-20 (2014)
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The purpose of the following study is that of providing a critical anal‑ ysis of Intellectual Property (IP), with a closer look on copyright, in the context of human rights. My main conjecture is the following : the legal infrastructure stemming from the implications of copyrights which states created has nega‑ tive consequences if we have a closer look at some human rights specified by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). For example, copyrights are, in my view, incompatible with the human rights which specify that (1) hu‑ man beings have a right to freely take part in the cultural and scientific life of the communities which they inhabit and (2) human beings have a right to own property. My main hypothesis is the following : if copyrights are, in fact, more difficult to ground from a moral perspective, then this considerations must trump the provision of the 27th article of the UDHR, which states that creators, be they artists or researchers, have a human right to have their moral and mate‑ rial interests protected with regard to their intellectual products, if this amounts to a justification for a copyright.

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Radu Uszkai
University of Bucharest


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