Copyright protection is intended to promote creativity by granting the creator of an original work, exclusive rights to its use for a limited time period. However, there has been a growing debate about whether copyright laws and their strict implementation, particularly in developing countries, could be detrimental to efforts by these countries to promote access to knowledge in general, and to educational material in particular. This debate, though not entirely new, is taking place in the context of intense policy discussions since the late 1990s about the impact of global intellectual property rules, such as those of the WTO TRIPS Agreement, on developing countries and about the extent to which such rules are supportive of public policy objectives in areas crucial to achieving sustainable development such as health, education and the environment. This paper examines the relationship between copyright protection and access to educational material. In this context, it looks, in particular, at the role of limitations and exceptions to copyright which in principle seek to reconcile both the interest of rights holders and public interest but whose implementation in practice has proved challenging in a number developing of countries. The paper seeks to identify options that will enable developing countries to formulate national copyright regimes that give priority to access to knowledge in the form of educational material.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2014

First Advisor

Bradford, Laura

Committee Member 1

Sayed, Hani


51 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Copyright, Intertiol.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Intellectual property -- Developing countries.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item