Overcoming the Achilles Heel of Copyright Law


With the recent proliferation of international, regional and bilateral treaties associated with copyright protection, the three-step test has been hailed as the panacea for measuring the legality of all limitations on copyright. This article challenges the legitimacy of the three-step test as a one-size-fits-all standard for copyright protection and puts forward a proposal to reshape this test. It further argues that the inquiry into the legitimacy of the three-step test necessitates a careful reexamination of the conventional wisdom of copyright law in general and the nature of copyright limitations in particular. Central to this scrutiny are the inquiries into how we could reimagine the legal status of users in the field of copyright law and whether right holders should be imposed social responsibilities as the quid pro quo for being granted with exclusive rights. Drawing upon modern jurisprudence and political philosophy, this article explores legal indeterminacy, conflict of rights, and rights and responsibilities in the framework of copyright law.


Intellectual Property Law

Date of this Version

September 2006