UCL Laws host ‘Copyright Law and Freedom of Speech’ event

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities


UCL Faculty of Laws and Dr Daniela Simone, Lecturer in Law at UCL Laws and co-director of UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law, organised the Copyright Law and Freedom of Speech event which took place on 8 February 2017.

Copyright law often thought to be designed to embody an appropriate balance between the need to allow copyright owners control over uses of copyright works (thereby providing an incentive for creativity) and the need to preserve some access to those works for socially valuable uses. Increasingly, however, copyright law has been subject to the criticism that it no longer strikes the right balance between control and access.

This seminar was chaired by Professor Sir Robin Jacob, Sir Hugh Laddie Chair of Intellectual Property Law and co-director of UCL IBIL, and investigated the interaction between copyright law and the protection of freedom of speech from a number of different angles:

  • Judge M Margaret McKeown (US Court of Appeal, 9th Circuit) discussed the view from the US – considering, in particular, Google v Garcia 786 F 3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015) and the trend for litigants to try to use copyright law to remedy personal harms or to protect privacy interests.
  • Jonathan Griffiths (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary University of London) considered the impact of recent jurisprudence from the Court of Justice of the European Union and suggested that fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression, will have an increased significance upon the interpretation of copyright exceptions.
  • Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament, Pirate Party) and John Halton (Assistant General Council, Financial Times) debated whether more (i.e. the proposed ancillary press publishers right) or less copyright protection was required to reach the right balance.

Read the full programme details.

Period22 Feb 2017

Media contributions


Media contributions