Birkbeck, University of London AHRC Copyright and Research Network
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AHRC Research Network to Consider New Directions in Copyright Law


This is the home page for the AHRC research network to consider new directions in copyright law. Click on the links above to select the information you are interested in. Or, you can link to the sponsors of the research project, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (formerly, the Arts and Humanities Research Board) website by clicking on, or the host institution, Birkbeck School of Law by clicking on

Project Summary
Professor Fiona Macmillan at the Birkbeck School of Law has received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to establish an international, multidisciplinary network of scholars to consider new directions in copyright law. The core participants in the network are copyright scholars working across a range of different disciplines, including law, economics, politics and political economy, cultural studies, and social theory. With input from a range of copyright stakeholders, the network will play a leading role in stimulating international research and debate about the future of the copyright system.

The work of the network will be pursued through six interrelated themes, which are: (1) Theoretical Framework of Copyright Law; (2) Globalisation, Convergence and Divergence; (3) Developments in Rights Neighbouring on Copyright; (4) Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Culture; (5) Copyright and the New Technologies; (6) Copyright, Corporate Power and Human Rights.

Network Activities
The formal network activities comprised six workshops and three conferences, and the publication by Edward Elgar of six collections of working papers and three collections of conference papers. The 6 volumes of papers are published as New Directions in Copyright Law. All the conferences took place at Birkbeck College. However, some of the workshops were hosted at the institutions of the core participants in order to involve a wide international range of other researchers, both inside and outside the academy, in the activities of the network.

Host institution: Birkbeck School of Law
The School of Law was awarded the grade of 5A in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). This assessment confirmed the status of the School as a leading international centre for research in social and legal theory. All full-time academic staff were entered in the RAE as research active, emphasising the commitment across the School to research excellence and the high level of research carried out by all members of the teaching staff.

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