International copyright treaties, particularly the Berne Convention (supported and made enforceable in the WTO by TRIPS) govern crucial elements of domestic copyright law. While Berne was intended to be regularly updated to keep pace with social and technological advances, it has now been almost half a century since the last substantive revision, and there’s a very real prospect that it may never be revised again. TRIPS, too, is proving to be effectively unamendable.
The world has changed enormously since the promulgation of these treaties, and now relies ever more heavily on the making of copyright-invoking copies and transmissions. At the same time, there are increasingly urgent calls for copyright reforms to improve outcomes for authors and better facilitate the continued availability and use of works.
If copyright is to rise to the challenges of the age, we must think critically about the scope for modernization within the existing framework. At the next Kernochan Center Symposium, to be held in New York on October 6, leading experts will analyze the gaps and flexibilities within copyright’s international framework – and posit how they might be navigated to support meaningful reform even in the absence of textual change.
REGISTRATION IS FREE, BUT MANDATORY. REGISTER AT www.law.columbia.edu/kernochan