Irina Atanasova


The digitalization of copyrighted works including text, music and video has dramatically increased the efficiency of unauthorized copying. Nowadays it is easier to copy and share digital information, to copy and paste from a web page, to share files. Even common tasks such as sending email and browsing the web involve the creation of copies. The Internet allows the infringers to produce thousands of copyrighted work at little cost. Providing legal protection against the copyright infringement has been the subject of an international treaty (the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty), a European Community Directive (the Information Society Directive) and major copyright legislation in the USA (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Although there are consistencies among nations’ intellectual propertylaws, each jurisdiction has separate and distinct laws and regulations about copyright.Overprotection of copyright could threaten democratic traditions and impact on social justice principles by unreasonably restricting access to information and knowledge. If copyright protection is too strong, competition, innovation and creativity is restricted. A balance betweenthe interests of copyright owners in receiving fair reward for their efforts and the interests of copyright users in receiving reasonable access to copyright materials should be maintained. The paper discusses and compares different solutions and approaches to the issue of reducing the digital copyright infringement without restricting the innovation and creativity.

Keywords: copyright infringement; copyright legislation; liability; digitalization; criminalization

JEL Codes: K14; K24


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