The COVID-19 era has moved our physical work space to a virtual space. With this shift towards online education, the importance of understanding copyright law vis-à-vis academics has assumed importance like never before. This has pushed us to re-examine the do’s and don’ts under the copyright law.
This short lecture includes a discussion on ownership rights of copyright holders, what constitutes infringement of copyright, and what are exceptions of these rights. The lecture highlights the important conditions in which using of copyrighted content will be allowed for academic purposes. For the lecture, leading case law and statutory law applicable in India are relied upon.
The lecture slides cover the Interface between Law, Human Rights and Technology.
In the definitions covered, technology is referred to as the application of scientific knowledge – to produce goods and services for human use. Law is referred to as the rules of the State for the regulation of public conduct. Human Rights are referred to as the rights that cater to the dignity of human beings and which are a claim of both individuals and groups.
While making use of some of the more recent developments as illustrations, classifications or sub-agendas have been highlighted, including (a) a look at technologies that expand/help secure human rights, and that undermine human rights (dignity), (b) the differential impact technology can have on individuals and groups, and (c) the impact of technology on State’s capacity to regulate and monitor human rights.
The slides pose several questions for further research and study, while also highlighting the non-availability of a structured international or domestic legal framework to regulate concerns and possibilities arising from the interface. More specific questions raised include;
How should we regulate a specific technology – which can both expand and undermine two different human rights?
Should technologies which evidently undermine human dignity – be allowed – given that they may have beneficial impacts – such as allowing harvesting of organs/treatment of rare diseases, etc. ?
When TNC’s limit the ability of the State to regulate public conduct – what can be the response of the State?
Is there any institutional mechanism – which reviews the impact of all technologies on human rights ? – Is it even on the agenda – it can be noted that most reactions are to specific technologies?
The lecture slides include a discussion on the theme of Business and Human Rights, particularly the developments under the UN Business- Human Rights Agenda.
Key highlights of the lecture include (a ) identification of challenges faced in the making of a viable framework defining the interface between business and human rights, (b) highlighting the steps taken towards ensuring responsibility and accountability for harms caused to human rights by business practices.
Also highlighted are the developments under the international human rights framework, including the 2011 Guiding Principles, Ruggie’s Framework and the more recent deliberations on a binding human rights treaty on business and human rights.
The following questions are posed for discussion for further research ;
The controversial position taken by the Guiding Principles is that corporations lack binding legal obligation in relation to fundamental human rights to respect them but the responsibility to respect flows from social expectations. How far is this justified in light of the human rights framework?
Have the 2011 Principles hampered the process of emergence and recognition of binding norms and taken a regressive step?
Can we really demand that companies abide by social expectations of 2011 principles? How do we determine them in a complex world with competing ideologies?
What can be possible ‘common languages’ between human rights and businesses which speaks both for identifying human rights abuses and at the same time also does not deter the businesses from playing an active role in securing them.
What key provisions and responsibilities are being incorporated within draft treaty proposals for a binding treaty on business and human rights?