Copyright: editors vs Internet users

Nowadays, we are living a quite strong conflict of interests between the Internet users and traditional editors due to the increasing digitalization of  books since the Net was born years ago. This topic has caused  and is still today causing a big controversy among the population and that is the reason why we wanted to mention here.

Logo de CEDRO


As Delia Lipszyc perfectly describes in her book Nuevos temas de derecho de autor y derechos conexos, works can now be digitalized (transformed into binary code) and be uploaded to an Internet server. As soon as these works are available online, the general public can immediatly make an unlimited number of copies without the legal permission of the copyrights holder. Moreover, once downloaded, these copies can be manipulated, processed, amplified, reproduced and transferred via electronic mail and/or public website.

From that moment, Internet users and traditional editors have started an important legal battle trying to demonstrate if the difussion of those contents is legal or not. Important associations as, for example, CEDRO (Centro español de derechos reprográficos) are fighting in order to restrict the access to these contents and to be able to charge the users some money for these intellectual rights. As a consequence, important firms such as, for instance, Google Inc. have been sentenced in court to pay multimillionaire fines to these associations and have been also forced to remove from their websites protected content.

On the other side, users claim that the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks are not illegal. Besides, in their opinion, the access to culture is a universal right that cannot be avoided. This controversy was analyzed and the Bern Convention established that copyrights belong to the author during their whole life and 50 years more. After that moment copyrights become public and we no longer have to pay for them.


(Note: in the future this article could be modified several times in order to include more up-to-date information.)

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October 2009


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