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Publication Title

Intellectual Property Journal



First Page



copyright, user rights, consumers, exceptions to copyright infringement, contracts, technological protection measures

Last Page



In this article, I investigate the nature of exceptions to copyright infringement or users' rights. Are exceptions to copyright infringement rights or privileges? Are they mandatory? While copyright users' rights and interests have triggered interest and debate amongst scholars, relatively less attention has been given to defining their precise nature, and on the consequences of the main characteristics of exceptions to copyright infringement on copyright law and policy. I examine the interplay between the users' rights set out in the Copyright Act and how they can be altered or overridden by non-negotiated standard end-user agreements and TPMs. To this end, I refer to a sample of non-negotiated standard terms of use for the online distribution of books, musical recordings and films. I investigate the nature of exceptions to copyright infringement, including through Hohfeld's theory of jural correlatives. I look at the policy considerations behind these questions and conclude by reflecting on the damaging effects of the uncertain nature of users' rights on the coherence and, ultimately, the legitimacy of copyright law.

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