This paper is concerned with the application of selected considerations from ethics and political philosophy to issues about copyright. An objective is to identify some of the underlying causes of major disagreements about the moral aspects of copyright. Views about what should govern the framework of an ethically justified copyright regime are fundamentally related to questions of how intellectual property rights in general should be justified. It is briefly reviewed whether current copyright regimes and trends are in the public interest. The idea that copyright is a property right and utilitarian justifications for copyright are considered. Several major kinds of ethical conflict about copyright, namely, those about rights, the public interest, and distributive justice are examined. Assessments of whether the current copyright regime is in the public interest need to take account of ethical concerns.
|Keywords:||Intellectual Property, Copyright, Public Interest|
Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Theory, School of English, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK
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