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Abstract

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) grants authors the right to the protection of the material interests resulting from their intellectual works. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights interpreted these interests to comprise the ability to achieve an adequate standard of living (as a minimum). This paper argues that copyright law provides a useful yet incomplete model for the protection of authors’ material interests. Copyright creates the legal environment necessary for establishing a market for intellectual works but does not guarantee its benefits to authors. Therefore, States Parties to the ICESCR should both tailor their copyright systems toward the objective of helping authors achieve an adequate standard of living and introduce measures for its implementation. The paper suggests a set of measures that national legislatures and policy makers can adopt to implement authors’ material interests in a way consistent with the international laws of copyright and human rights.

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