This paper considers whether copyright has a future in an electronic environment. A number of issues face copyright owners in the networked environment, most of them caused by the ease with which materials can be copied. Some relevant examples of legal cases are considered. Some responses to the stresses, in terms of both attitudes and legislation, such as the EU Database Directive and the EU Draft Directive on Copyright, are considered. It is concluded that copyright is unlikely to survive in its present form, and that attempts to strengthen it by means of increasing owner rights could be counterproductive. Innovative thinking and ideas are necessary, together with increased owner‐user co‐operation, if copyright is to survive.
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