Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Private Law, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D Student, Private Law, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Freedom of expression includes the freedom to express, access and dissemination of information, whereas copyright, by protecting the original works of authorship, restricts use, access and dissemination of the protected works. When an expression is protected by copyright, freedom of expression or press can be restricted. Some are of the opinion that these two rights are, in fact, not in conflict with each other but rather derived from the same social values seeking to protect each right. Common goals such as flow of cultural ideas or promoting creativity in the society causes interaction and synergy between the two. Idea-expression dichotomy by determining the scope of the copyright and distinguishing what belongs to the public domain, which is not a protected, will ensure a constructive interaction between the two and protects the public interest and dose not restrict freedom of expression. This article will discuss how to strike a balance between the public interest in freedom of expression and the private interests of the copyright owners without undermining the other. Idea-expression dichotomy as a counterbalance between these two rights is the cornerstone of this article.


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