ALAIIn 1993, the Belgian chapter of International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI) organised an international conference in Antwerp on the moral rights of the author. This year, more than twenty years later, the international copyright community will gather in Brussels to discuss the Moral rights in the 21st century.  The central theme of this conference is the “changing role of the moral rights in an era of information overload”.

Various aspects of the moral rights in copyright will be examined during the two days of the conference (you can find the scientific programme here) The first day will “revisit” the moral rights and will map the scope and the boundaries of the moral rights in the various copyright systems.  After a short reminder of the history, the raison d’être and the nature of moral rights, several contrasts will be set out – such as the continental droit d’auteur v. copyright, the exercise of the moral rights, its abuse and the (potential) conflict with other rights, such as property rights or the freedom of expresssion.  The day will be concluded by a panel discussion on the “collective practice” in the audiovisual sector.

During the second day, the attention of the participants will turn to digital, viral and virtual questions that the first copyright scholars never could have imagined:  creative commons, orphans works, cloud computing, user generated content and avatars. The last panel discussion will ponder on the future perspectives for the moral rights, with insights of the WIPO and the European Commission.

Interesting days ahead indeed!  Moral rights enthusiasts can already sniff around on the conference website for preparatory documentation.  As is customary, the national ALAI chapters have filled out the questionnaire and contributed their insights to the conference in the form of national reports.  The insatiable copyright amateurs can find landmark cases from the supreme courts of Italy, Norway, Japan, Germany, France and Belgium on the blog.

ALAI Congress “Moral Rights in the 21st Century. The changing role of the moral rights in an era of information overload” will take place in Brussels from 17 to 20 September 2014. 

Sari Depreeuw

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