New CREATe Working Paper Explores Relationship Between Copyright and Freedom of Expression

The latest entry in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available to download. Copyright and Freedom of Expression: A Literature Review by Yin Harn Lee, with a preface and summary by Emily Laidlaw and Daithi MacSithigh, reflects on the tensions within the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression, particularly with the emergence of the digital environment and expansion of copyright law. The review traces the nature of the debates about the interaction between copyright and free speech, treatment by the courts (focusing mainly on UK (in its wider European context) and USA jurisdictions), specific scenarios where the issues are particularly acute, and current proposals for reform.

The author and contributors hope that this Working Paper provides insight to the reader on what remains an uncertain area of the law. They invite comments to help inform the second stage of this project, whereby they’ll evaluate the need for an independent ‘free speech’ copyright exception (and consider the shape that such an exception might take) and seek to translate the knowledge contained in the literature review into practical advice for businesses and lawmakers on how to reconcile copyright and human rights law.

A forthcoming workshop in 2015 (details to be confirmed) will provide a forum for these issues to be discussed further, and its outcomes, together with this literature review, are expected to include the publication of an impact assessment tool.


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