Abstract: This 2003 article challenges some of the conventional wisdom in the field of international copyright law and attempts to show why this system predominantly works for the benefit of wealthy media corporations (and other copyright owners) in rich industrial countries and NOT in interests of people living in the global South. It explains that the concept of “national treatment” promotes, rather than reduces, discrimination and why the metaphor of “balance” misleads us about the very nature of this system. In fact, the 1886 Berne Convention is a colonial relic and should be repealed. “Burn Berne” was published in Volume 40, Issue 3 of the Houston Law Review (in the United States) in 2003.
Alan Story is a senior lecturer in intellectual property law at Kent Law School, United Kingdom, and a long-time Copysouther. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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