November 25, 2015 by Dr. Lior Zemer and Aviv Gaon
Of Rights and Reservations
Access to knowledge has always been at the forefront of the international discourse on intellectual property. The idea that a system designed to encourage creativity and foster innovation must allocate exclusive rights to authors and artists is as old as the Statute of Anne. The same statute, however, provides that this allocation is not without limits, and mandates access to knowledge as a pre-condition to any such allocation. Internationally, since the adoption of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (‘Berne Convention’), legal regimes have become more attentive to the limits that copyright systems must endorse in order to protect the public interest and the needs of different users. As Numa Droz, the President of the first Berne Diplomatic Conference in 1884, stated:
Consideration also had to be given to the fact that limitations on absolute protection are dictated, rightly in my opinion, by the public interest. The ever-growing need for mass instruction could be met if there were no reservation of certain reproduction facilities, which at the same time should not degenerate into abuses.