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An elephant cannot enjoy copyright protection, only human persons can. Mae Taeng Elephant Park
Photo (left): Jeremiah Roth   Photo (right): Nikodemus Karlsson

The freedom of science, art, and higher education is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. [1] Also the Universities Act recognizes the freedom of Science, Art, and education as well as the public operation of a university. The Universities Act describes the mission of Universities as:

"The mission of the Universities is to promote free research and academic and artistic education, to provide higher education based on research, and to educate students to serve their country and humanity. In carrying out their mission, the Universities must promote lifelong learning, interact with the surrounding society and promote the impact of research findings and artistic activities on society". [2]

The impact of the freedom of science is reflected the strongest in the basic function of the university: safeguarding the freedom of science is seen as a responsibility of both the government and the university.  The freedom of science also represents the foundation of a university's complementary functions. In this case, however, the point of view held by external interests must be taken into consideration. The complementary functions are influenced by commitments regarding various cooperative relationships, each as agreeing on copyright.

The principle of freedom of science helps ensure the development and high quality of science. Freedom of science is based on the provisions of the Universities Act and the conventions relating to the implementation of the Act. According to the principle of freedom of science, everyone has the right to select the subject they want to research and the method they want to apply, and to freely exploit the research results. However, in the course of their studies, students are bound to use the copyrighted works of others. It is important to ensure that permission has been obtained from the copyright holder, or that the work can be used according to the Copyright Act or another law. Restrictions are examined in the section "Using Works in University Studies, Research and Teaching".

Copyright is protected as a human right in the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights under article 27, stating "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits" and "Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author." [3] A person may only wave their copyright with an agreement. However, a person who has created a work of art will always have a copyright credited to him/her at the moment of the creation of the work.

Notes and References

[1] Constitution, § 16

[2] Universities Act § 2

[3] United Nations, Declaration of Human Rights, 1948