Copyright in a Borderless Online Environment

Copyright law has developed in close connection with technological evolution. This is particularly true of digital technologies, especially the Internet, which, since the mid-1990s, has generated both vast opportunities and enormous challenges for the copyright system. Geographical distance is no longer an obstacle to the dissemination of works, which can now take place at virtually no cost. This has provided creators and their commercial partners with new means to exploit their rights, and it has opened the door to new forms of infringement, some of which have proved difficult to combat. To a large extent these opportunities and challenges relate to the territorial nature of copyright applied in a borderless, and thus ubiquitous, online environment.

In October 2011, the Institute for Legal Research (Institutet för Rättsvetenskaplig Forskning) organized a Symposium to explore various aspects of “Copyright in a Borderless Online Environment”: territoriality of copyright, new business models, individual and collective online licensing, enforcement of copyright online, and unification of copyright law beyond harmonization. The Symposium gathered prominent Nordic and International scholars and practitioners in the fields of copyright and international private law. A new anthology (published by Norstedts Juridik, a Wolters Kluwer business), of which I am the editor, contains the papers presented at the Symposium. Some have been revised to take into account subsequent legal developments. The topic of the symposium was very timely. I hope that the anthology will contribute to the on-going international dialogue on copyright in a borderless online environment.

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