The digital world challenges fundamental standards of intellectual property protection laws. All of this intellectual property, especially copyright, needs a new perspective.
What are the principles of copyright in “works”?
Scope of copyright and Author’s Right
From a legal point of view, there are two areas: the copyright system (Anglo-Saxon approach), as in countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. States and the Author’s Right system (European continental approach, also known as “droit d’auteur’ system”), as in countries such as Germany, France, Indonesia and Vietnam. Since both systems influence each other (also in the case of the Berne Convention, TRIPS agreement, etc.), it is no longer possible to classify a system of a country that is strictly protected by copyright or copyright.
The basics of modern copyright law date back to the English Act of Anna of 1710, the United States Constitution of 1787, and French post-revolutionary provisions (when I use “Copyright” I mean both the copyright system and the copyright system).
The beginnings of copyright were in the concept of “freedom”, which gained strength in the 17th and 18th centuries. The term ‘freedom’ sees ‘property’ as a means of guaranteeing individual freedom. Philosophers such as John Locke, Rousseau, Kant and Hegel contributed to the philosophy of “ownership”. By way of illustration, Locke assumed that everyone was his teacher and therefore owned every product of his work as a property (part of natural law theory). This philosophy mainly affected the copyright system.
On the other hand, the copyright system is based on a utilitarian approach (which justifies the protection of copyright through incentives to create and improve the general well-being of societies). This principle automatically indicates the role that the investor (and not the creator) plays in creating a “job”.
If you can compare the fundamental difference between the two systems, it is as follows: Unlike the copyright system, the protection of the continental system treats the “author”. For example, article 11 of the (German) copyright law of 9 September 1965 states: “Copyright protects the author in his intellectual and personal relationship with the work and in the use of the work. It also serves to provide adequate remuneration for the use of the work. “
Who can be an author?
Conceptually, only a natural person can be an author in the author right system. For example, art. 2 clause 2 of the German Copyright Law of September 9, 1965, states that “only the author’s intellectual creation represents his work within the meaning of this Law”. Furthermore, art. 9 article 1 of the Copyright Law establishes that “the author of the work is the natural person who created it”. On the contrary, the copyright system allows natural and legal persons to obtain these rights.
Copyright Law and Creations of Algorithms/AI
Conceptually, the copyright system does not cover the protection of works created by a natural person. However, the copyright system differs in this context. Copyright protection is not focused on the author, but on work or “work”. In general, the person who created it does not affect the system. However, the extension of the authors by an algorithm or artificial intelligence is a problem that has not been solved by the basic principles of copyright.
Why is this discussion relevant in the Pakistani context?
With the increasing importance of the digital world, especially with regard to COVID-19 and the emergence of new technologies, it may be necessary to review copyright rules. In my opinion, Pakistani copyright is mainly influenced by the Anglo-Saxon approach (with some characteristics of copyright, such as “moral laws”). I believe that Pakistani copyright can be significantly improved and made more only by looking closely at systems and acknowledging the challenges of the 21st century.