Patricia Aufderheide

School of Communication, American University, Washington, D.C.

Topic: Copyright and Citizenship

Copyright policy in different national regimes has tilted dramatically toward the rights of owners in the last two decades. This is a result not only of corporate media consolidation but also of the decay and collapse of mass-media business models. Mass media companies have attempted to protect their falling profits by discouraging copying of all kinds, including legal kinds of copying, and have pressured national governments and international organizations into expanding owners’ rights.

The past decade has seen vigorous pushback from users and new creators to expand their rights to use copyrighted material in making new work. This lecture discusses attempts to influence legislation and government and international treaty policy as well as such non-legislative approaches as Creative Commons, the open educational resources movement, and citizen movements to expand use of exemptions such as the U.S. doctrine of fair use and the Commonwealth-wide doctrine of fair dealing, as well as the right of quotation prevalent in European countries.