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Published November 18, 2021 | Version v1
Working paper Open

A review of empirical evidence on copyright exceptions

  • 1. University of Glasgow


Exceptions are an essential part of the copyright system. They aim to encourage innovation, serve the public interest or respond to market failures. While extensive theoretical and doctrinal research has examined the history, nature, justification, and judicial interpretation of exceptions, empirical evidence in this area of copyright law is limited. This article aims to synthesise the empirical studies on exceptions currently catalogued on the Copyright Evidence Portal. After a short introduction to the topic, the article reviews the debates and questions addressed by scholars investigating exceptions empirically. In doing so, it identifies five main areas of study: i) judicial interpretation; ii) evaluating policy options; iii) impact of exceptions; iv) public domain and incentives; and v) technology and compensation. Under each area of study, the article summarises the main findings of the catalogued studies with a view to generating a picture of existing evidence and research agendas. Finally, the article highlights recent legislative and policy developments that may suggest potential directions for future research.



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