Published February 15, 2024 | Version v1
Report Open

Copyright and Open Norms in Seven Jurisdictions: Benefits, Challenges & Policy Recommendations

  • 1. ROR icon Bournemouth University


Adopting a desk-based literature review, as well as discussion with national experts from the relevant jurisdictions, this report explores the adoption, use and impact of open norms, as introduced in seven jurisdictions. 

Applying various criteria for measuring success and through an analysis of the law as well as engagement with National Experts of the relevant countries, the authors demonstrate that introducing an open norm has several benefits. These include, for example, allowing a country’s creative, educational and research sectors to progress effectively, and benefit from developments in technology in a timely manner. In particular, the report highlights the benefits experienced by countries such as Canada, Israel, Singapore and Japan, whilst the benefits of the USA’s long-standing fair use doctrine have also been captured. Where there have been challenges, these have not been due to the introduction of an open norm per se, but, rather due to failings in drafting the legislation (Sri Lanka) or how it has been approached by the judiciary (South Korea). As such, it must be emphasised that the challenges faced by Sri Lanka and South Korea emerged not due to any incompatibility of open norms with a hybrid or civil law system, but rather due to the reasons as outlined above. These are clear lessons that can be learnt by countries wishing to adopt an open norm in the future. As highlighted in the conclusions, challenges associated with legal transplants can be mitigated by varying different strategies including producing guidelines, opinions from legal authorities and paving the way for further regulations as seen in countries such as Israel and South Korea.

Accordingly, the authors recommend the adoption of open norms in other countries around the world, including in European countries. As discussed in detail in this report, there is much to gain and little to lose by adopting open norms in copyright law. Rather than waiting for long periods for a piece of legislation to be introduced that addresses a single issue, open norms present the opportunity for countries to progress their education, research, creative and technological sectors in a timely fashion.

The publication is issued as part of the Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21) project, funded by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

More details and resources are available on the KR21 website.


KR21 Report on Copyright and Open Norms in 7 Jurisdictions.pdf

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