Chapter 5

Copyright and Digital Cultural Heritage: Economic Rights and Infringement

Written by Ronan Deazley, April 2017

The economic rights conferred on copyright owners are defined in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the CDPA), and are contingent on the type of work under consideration. In short, not all copyright works attract the same bundle of rights. Also, copyright does not prohibit all forms of copying. It only prohibits certain types of copying, in certain ways, and under certain circumstances. That is, while copyright protects the economic interests of copyright owners by preventing unlawful copying and use, at the same time it enables and encourages many forms of lawful copying and reuse. And so, in this commentary, to better understand the scope of the economic rights conferred on copyright owners, we also consider the strategies and arguments that can be relied upon to refute an allegation of copyright infringement.

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