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Radu Uszkai, “Are Copyrights Compatible with Human Rights?”

Radu Uszkai, “Are Copyrights Compatible with Human Rights?,” The Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (2014), pp. 5–20.


The purpose of the following study is that of providing a critical analysis of Intellectual Property (IP), with a closer look on copyright, in the context of human rights. My main conjecture is the following : the legal infrastructure stemming from the implications of copyrights which states created has negative consequences if we have a closer look at some human rights specified by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). For example, copyrights are, in my view, incompatible with the human rights which specify that (1) human beings have a right to freely take part in the cultural and scientific life of the communities which they inhabit and (2) human beings have a right to own property. My main hypothesis is the following : if copyrights are, in fact, more difficult to ground from a moral perspective, then this considerations must trump the provision of the 27th article of the UDHR, which states that creators, be they artists or researchers, have a human right to have their moral and mate‑ rial interests protected with regard to their intellectual products, if this amounts to a justification for a copyright.

This paper is also relevant to the points made in Intellectual Property Rights as Negative Servitudes.

See also idem, “The Use of Torrents in Society,” Libertarian Papers vol. 10 (2018).


This paper explores whether the case against intellectual property can be strengthened by appealing to the work of F.A. Hayek. It strives first to establish a Hayekian research agenda on copyright by providing a unified reading of Hayek’s scattered remarks and positioning them within a broader picture of the contemporary philosophy, politics, and economics of IP. Secondly, exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and copyright infringement through a Hayekian lens suggests what might be a useful analogy between the ability of torrent downloads and prices to convey information. Last but not least, the paper ends on a skeptical note concerning the moral and economic foundations of copyright by presenting what I consider a more Hayekian alternative: crowdfunding platforms.

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.