Global Network on Copyright User Rights: Model Flexible Copyright Exception


Primary Documents

Working Documents

Letters and Submissions

Publications by Network Experts

Further Resources/Analysis

Join or Contact the Network

The Global Network on Copyright User Rights is a group of copyright experts from around the world assembled to generate policy options and expert guidance on the protection of users’ rights through flexible limitations and exceptions in national copyright laws.

The objective of the Network was originally framed in the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest which called for “discussion of employing ‘open-ended’ limitations in national copyright legislation, in addition to specific exceptions.”

The Primary Documents were drafted through a year-long consultative process with the Network’s founding members (below).

The Model Flexible Copyright Exception is designed to be adaptable in general form to most copyright laws – including those in common and civil law systems.

The core of the proposal is a general balancing test that could be added as a general clause to any existing list of limitations and exceptions. The second part of the model provides a more specific set of balancing factors that could be adopted in addition to the general clause to give guidance in its interpretation and implementation.

Appendix I identifies a long list of Presumptively Lawful Uses created through a survey of limitations and exceptions included in many copyright laws around the world.

Appendix II provides examples of flexible exceptions from existing copyright laws or proposals from around the world.

Appendix III provides some short responses to frequently asked questions about flexible copyright exceptions.

The network has also engaged in subsequent research, analysis and technical assistance — some of the products of which are posted in the Additional Resources section below the Primary Documents.






The Users’s Rights Network will continue to provide guidance and information to advocates and government officials in countries undergoing copyright reform.

JOIN: If you are a copyright expert or advocate interested in being part of the network, please fill out this very short form.

CONTACT: If you are an advocate or government official interested in receiving technical assistance form the network, email your inquiries to






Lionel Bentley

Christophe Geiger

Pranesh  Prakash

Ronan Deazley

Carolyn Botero

Dick Kawooya

Hong Xue

Pedro Mizukami

Pedro Paranagua

Daniel Gervais

Denis Barbosa

Michael Geist

Michael Birnhack

Niva Elkin

Caroline Ncube

Lucie Guibault

Bernt Hugenholtz

Steph Von Gompel

Fred Von Lohmann

Martin Senftleben

Michael Carroll

Peter Jaszi

Sean Flynn

Henning Ruse-Khan

Rebecca Giblin

Ellen Broad

Lila Bailey

Robert Burrell

Alberto Cerda

Gwen Hinze

Meredith Jacob

Ariel Katz

Howard Knopf

Kaya Koeklue

Ahmed Abdel Latif

Oliver Metzger

Sylvie Nerisson

Mike Palmedo

Matt Sag

Pam Samuelson

Alan Rocha de Souza

Jennifer Urban

Kimberlee Weatherall

Peter Yu


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