The Institute of Comparative Law - with the
support of the “Creating the Center of Excellence at the University of Szeged”
TÁMOP research grant - organized a successful conference titled "Copyrightand Human Rights in the Information Age: Conflict or HarmoniousCo-existence" on February 25, 2012. I hope that the colorful presentations
and the heated debate will remain in the memories of all participants for a
According to the call for papers the basic
concept of the conference was to talk about the connection and collision of and
balance between copyrights and human rights. The 16 presenters definitely
introduced how complex this issue is.
The first panel started with the keynote speech
of Peter K. Yu from the Drake Law School (United States). He introduced the
audience the basic tensions between the copyright law and human rights approach.
Professor Yu was followed by two researchers of the Max Planck Institute
(Germany), Yifat Nahmias and Nikita Malevannyy. Their presentation focused on
the right to take part in cultural life. They presented their opinion, whether
access to the Internet and access to copyrighted works are fundamental human
rights or not? The former Assistant Director General of the WIPO, Mihály
Ficsor, Sr. talked about the balance of copyright as human right with other
human rights. He significantly emphasized the role of copyright protection for
the creation of cultural goods and called all the anti-ACTA (and PIPA and SOPA)
protests as “hysterio-liberal” activity. Finally, Krisztina Stump (Eötvös
Lóránd Scientific University) delivered a presentation on the role of internet service
providers as gatekeepers to find the right balance between free speech and
Anikó Grad-Gyenge (Károli Gáspár University of
the Reformed Church in Hungary), the first panelist of the second section, concentrated
on the law enforcement aspects of the issue and introduced us the importance of
the SABAM decisions of the European Court of Justice. Bálint Halász from the
Bird & Bird LLP analyzed the first of these SABAM decisions
(Scarlet/Tiscali v. SABAM) in great details. Stefan Larsson, the legal
sociologist of the Lund University (Sweden), emphasized that discussants of the
copyright and human rights debate always have to keep in mind that the law may
only work correctly if it is accepted by the society. If this is not the case,
law will always remain on paper and will never become a “law in action”. Tuomas
Mylly from the Turku Law School (Finland) regretfully had to skip the
conference; however, he sent us his narrated power point presentation. It was quite
funny to know that technology is on our side, too.
The third panel continued with a presentation
of Christiana Maria Mauro (AK Vorrat, Berlin).
Her paper (Rough Justice: Intermediary Liability Creating a New Posse in the
Internet’s “Wild West”) focused on the intermediary liability, discussing the political relevances of the issue at the EU and international level. The three
other panelists similarly concentrated on a special issue: filesharing. Enrico
Bonadio (City College London, UK) introduced the development of filesharing
services and the emergence of the argument of free speech protection for
filesharers. Balázs Bodó (Budapest University of Technology and Economics) had
a great introduction into the subculture of filesharers, including but not
limited to the self-regulation of filesharers via the darknet torrent sites.
Finally, György Kovács (Pázmány Péter Catholic University) concentrated on the (Hungarian
and German) constitutional law aspects of filesharing.
The final panel started with the presentation
of Pál Tomori (director of the Association of the Arts Unions Bureau for the
Protection of Performers´ Rights) on the importance and role of moral rights in
a human rights discussion. Gabriella Ivacs (Chief Archivist of Open Society
Archives) emphasized the importance of digitization of cultural goods by archives
and libraries. She summarized what problems these institutions may face under
the current copyright regime when fulfilling their culturally important task of
preservation and dissemination. István Molnár (Regional Innovation Agency of
the South Great Plain Region of Hungary) concentrated on the
university-specific conflict of open access and IPR-centered management model.
The final presenter of the conference was Eszter Bakos (University of Szeged),
who discussed the meeting points of media literacy (that is what and how people
study from the media) and copyright law.
It was a long day. We started at 9am and finished
after 6pm. No matter, how tired I was after that, it was a great experience on
my side. I am sure that the participants similarly share my opinion and I truly
hope that we can have a similar conference in the near future. The best conclusion came from Bálint Halász in his presentation. He emphasized the need for a fair balance in this territory. I definitely share his opinion!
Címkék: emberi jogok, Konferencia, Szeged, szerzői jog