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What has copyright to do with democracy?

In view of recent debates, not the least those in Sweden, I wrote this article about the democratic aspects of copyright legislation:

Abstract: The debates on whether or not copyright and democracy are compatible concepts are not new. It has been discussed since the 1700s and concerns a form of separation of powers. Copyright is a monopoly, but at the same time, when copyright came, it was a strike at another form of monopoly, the printers’ rights, with their roots in the guild system. Copyright could not occur until censorship was abolished, and it can actually be seen as a complement to the freedom of expression. Copyright was early associated with privacy issues. However, if proportionality is not followed in the maintenance of law, both integrity and freedom of expression could be threatened.

This text is part of the annual book ”For or Against the Citizenry: Power sharing”, which is published for the third time by the democracy study group D2D. The book is in Swedish, with short summaries in English. It is available free of charge on the web.

Read the whole article at:
http://www.nisus.se/archive/090525e.html

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