Authors: Kevin T. O’Sullivan
Abstract: This paper considers whether the theoretical underpinning of copyright as akin to ‘real’ rather than ‘intellectual’ property supports a pervasive expansion of the right to enforce copyright in the face of online piracy. To this end, the paper considers recent asymmetrical enforcement strategies such as graduated strike penalty systems and assesses whether such measures can come within the theoretical paradigm of copyright when aligned with property based rationales. The limits of this property paradigm of absolutism in enforcement is in turn challenged with an emerging regulatory challenge for policymakers; a paradigm of pluralism embracing internet user fundamental rights. The tension between the paradigms and the problem from policy and regulatory perspectives is considered with the tentative suggestion that the definable limits of copyright within its own absolutist theoretical setting, in fact, supports a prioritisation of a pluralist approach to copyright enforcement online.
Keywords: Copyright, Online-Piracy, Enforcement, Property Theory, Policy