Amoha Sharma and Jahnavi Mitra examine the altered scope of the
doctrine, and provides suggestions to harmonize the
opposing interests of content creators and users.

Abstract

Through the advent of globalization, an exponential
increase in digitization has been experienced all over the
world. Newer and better technologies have spurred the
creation of intellectual works that are afforded legal
protection. At the same time, the change in the medium of
the work affects its dissemination and alters the mode of its
protection. Opposing demands with regard to protection
have been made by creators and users, which has led to the
polarisation of the debate between rights of content
creators and public interest in the created works. Concerns
range from the protection of economic interests of creators
and apprehension of over-appropriation of their works on
one hand, and the rhetoric of dissemination of knowledge
and public policy on the other. The doctrine of fair use
emerged to quell the protests from both sides and envisaged
an arrangement where certain uses of copyrighted works
are excluded from the purview of infringement of
copyrights. However, the introduction of digital rights
management regimes enables copyright holders to restrict
the right of use to an unprecedented extent, thereby
reducing the scope of applicability of the doctrine of fair
use. This paper seeks to examine the altered scope of the
doctrine, and provides suggestions to harmonize the
opposing interests of content creators and users, creating a
secure digital environment that encourages innovation
without compromising the right to information.