Sileshi Bedasie Hirko publishes Rethinking Copyright for Sustainable Human Development

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2022

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that Routledge has published Rethinking Copyright for Sustainable Human Development: Higher Education and Access to Knowledge, written by Dr. Sileshi Bedasie Hirko, a recent PhD graduate and now a postdoctoral fellow with Open AIR.

Rethinking Copyright for Sustainable Human Development explores the interfaces between copyright and higher education, and their complementarities for the advancement of sustainable human development. Constituted of human capabilities prerequisite for valuable beings and doings, hu-man development is understood as a set of freedoms essential for human flourishing. Adopting human development and capabilities approach as its overarching normative and analytical framework, the book primarily examines the relevant policy and legal flexibilities under the existing international copyright system. In particular, the book emphasizes the implications of the constrained flexibilities for access to knowledge required for creative innovation and higher education.

Exploring the intricate interfaces, the book argues that an unbalanced and restrictive copyright system not only impedes reasonable access to knowledge, but also stifles the development of creative and learning freedoms or capabilities. Unless rethought to ensure a fair balance in an inclusive development context, the existing international copyright regime entails serious ramifications for sustainable human development. Noting this normative gap and its consequences, the book thus underscores the compelling need to rethink copyright’s roles and reframe its relevant flexibilities as pro-access users-rights. To this end, the book recommends reframing both existing and emerging flexibilities as development-oriented users-rights in a manner that fosters and re-directs creative and learning capabilities towards sustainable human development. Further, it is imperative to promote the complementarities between copyright and higher education, and their roles for sustainable human development.

Given its multidisciplinary perspectives and insightful explorations of interlinked topics through the lens of the human development, the book will be of an interest to researchers, academics and policy makers across the fields of intellectual property law, innovation, global development, inter-national human rights, and higher education.


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The book builds on Dr. Sileshi Bedasie Hirko’s doctoral work at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, that enormously benefitted from funding from the Open African Innovation Research Network (Open AIR) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

The book includes a forward by Prof. Chidi Oguamanam, a CLTS Faculty member.


Congratulations to Dr. Hirko!

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