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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Balancing the legal teetertotter : finding the appropriate weight for creator and user rights in cyber space Cavalier, Kenneth Richard


This study represents a "quantum analysis" Law Reform approach to the adoption and evaluation of Canadian and international legal regimes aimed at the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) such as copyright, patent and trade-marks in cyberspace. Related intangible property rights such as privacy, publicity, performance, exhibition, moral rights, P2P file-sharing, "grey marketing" and protection against misappropriation are therefore considered. Beginning with a review of appellate level case law to identify areas of uncertainty and new developments in contemporary IP law, especially on the Internet, the history and the philosophical justifications for granting of traditional IPR protection of limited duration to creators are noted. The nature of the IPRs granted and the remedies available to enforce them are presented A review of current IP practice and remedies notes the trend of the Supreme Court of Canada to strive for balance among the stakeholders, both creators and users, of the intangible property. The post-1994 TRIPS agreement and globalization are discussed and the intersection between IP law, national sovereignty, and international trade through the WTO is considered. Canada’s capability to fashion its own legal response in the face of her international responsibilities and TRIPS pressure to harmonize IP law is assessed. A discussion of the merits of sui generis IP laws for use in the new digital knowledge-based economy environment rather than the extension of traditional IP laws to remove current uncertainties follows. The study concludes with a list of fifty recommendations for characteristics of any legislative solution proposed for IPR protection on the Internet. The requirement of a balanced regime is affirmed.

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