Importance of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes

International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes
| Updated: Jan 10, 2022 | Category: Copyright

In today’s technology world, Intellectual Property is becoming increasingly vital to economic growth & global commerce. Arbitration is highly efficient in such situations. In several fields or areas, arbitration has become the standard or common method for resolving disputes. International Arbitration is more common as a means of resolving IP disputes. International Arbitration is a form of binding or connecting dispute resolution before an impartial tribunal that originates from the agreement of parties. International Arbitration is the method of resolving transnational disputes, and the impartiality it provides, along with the relative ease with which the tribunal’s awards may be implemented, make it a more appealing forum for disputes or challenges resolution than litigating in the national courts of contracting parties. In this write-up, we will discuss the importance of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes.

What is a Copyright?

Before we discuss the importance of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes, let’s understand the meaning of Copyright. A Copyright is an exclusive or special right given to the original creator to publish, sell, or reproduce their original word of authorship as a musical, artistic, dramatic, or architectural work. Actual or original works of authors/creators which are intangible form, whether unpublished or published, are safeguarded by Copyright. Photos, painting software, live performances, etc., are all examples of works that are safeguarded under the Copyright Law.

The primary purpose or objective of Copyright law is to safeguard the effort, creativity, time, and money of the creator or author. The Copyright law grants or permits the Copyright owner some exclusive rights, like the right to reproduce or imitate the work, the right to distribute the work’s copies by lease, sale, or other transfer of ownership, right to display work publicly. The owner of a Copyright also has the right to give any of the above-mentioned rights to others. The owner of Copyright can also transfer their exclusive rights to others.

Significance of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes

Copyright Disputes are known as arbitrable in most countries, and challenges to awards based on non-arbitrability have a negligible likelihood of success. If the parties conform or agree to arbitrate, any copyright-related contractual, violation, and validity dispute can be settled via arbitration. Copyright-related contractual agreements like software licensing are commonly structured as multi-national contracts, highlighting the requirement for International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes. According to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) statistics, Copyright disputes account for 13% of the WIPO[1] cases, which comprise Copyright Collective Management, entertainment, broadcasting, art, and media Copyright Infringements.

When compared to court litigation, International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes has a number of essential unique qualities that make it a more viable or feasible choice for resolving such disputes. The benefits of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes include the following:

  • Specialised Expertise: Because of the technical nature of Intellectual Property disputes, adjudicators should preferably have technical information and expertise in the pertinent subject. Contracts involving Copyright are distinctive in terms of terminology & practice, and they cannot be understood or explained correctly without familiarity with the valid standard & vocabulary.

The right of a party to opt for at least one of the arbitrators on a tribunal that will hear & then decide their dispute is a vital element that is examined as a unique benefit over the judicial system. One of the most vital benefits of International Arbitration in Copyright Disputes is that the parties have the option & flexibility to choose an arbitrator with specific expertise in the subject matter.

  • Importance & Provisional Measures: Another vital benefit of International Arbitration is the ability of tribunals to give interim remedies or injunctive relief, which is permitted as per the rules of most arbitration institutions. Interim relief is essential in Copyright Arbitration for stopping Copyright Infringement, distribution/transfer of rights to violating copyrighted work.
  • Enforceability: Arbitral award in International Arbitration is enforceable in a nation, i.e., a signatory to the New York Convention, 1958. An Arbitration Award regarding a particular IPR may not be enforceable in a nation that doesn’t consider such IPR as arbitrable. For example, Copyright disputes are fully arbitrable under English Law, and UK courts have extensively interpreted arbitration agreements. While in the US, there is no such law that particularly permits for binding arbitration of Copyright problems, claims, comprising those under the DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, have been found arbitrable by United States courts.
  • Efficiency, Flexibility, and Speed: International or global arbitration is often seen to be quicker than litigation. Many arbitration institutions give accelerated and emer4gency arbitration rules & processes, which may be beneficial in the case of Copyright Disputes. Another benefit is that arbitration provides freedom to parties to modify their dispute resolution process, freedom to agree on the conduct of the proceedings & choose valid procedural rules. For instance, parties can place limits on the amount of proof admitted for Copyright disputes, even choose the extent to which certain rules of proof are to apply, procedural steps, deciding procedural timelines, discover and document production, and so on. This is vital in times of crisis or emergency because the parties may agree to displace the hearings or hold them digitally, remotely, or via video conference.
  • Confidentiality: The confidentiality of arbitration awards & processes are vital in IP disputes since the problems or issues in question are generally sensitive, which a party desires to keep private. Parties don’t want to expose or reveal their disputes in public & favour to keep them private. In International Arbitration, the parties have comparatively limited appeals possibilities, which is another vital advantage over litigation.


Arbitration is a speedy method of dispute settlement, giving a neutral form including expert arbitrators and with a procedure that preserves confidentiality. Accordingly, International Arbitration is becoming more standard as a means of resolving IP disputes and is desired over litigation as a more suitable and effective dispute resolution method.

Read our Article:An Overview of Copyright for Content Creators

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A legal writing enthusiast, a wanderer, and a zealous reader. After gaining a lot of knowledge about the diverse legal topics and developing research skills, Karan joined the league of legal content writers to deliver quality-rich blogs.


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