School of Law

Paula Westenberger

Research Topic: Copyright law, Human rights, Freedom of expression, Creative industries, Brazilian Law

Postgraduate Research Student

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Thesis title:

Copyright and freedom of creative expression: a comparative human rights approach to creativity


Professor Uma Suthersanen and Mr Jonathan Griffiths

Summary of research:

This intra-disciplinary thesis seeks to analyse whether aspects of copyright legislation might constitute an illegitimate obstacle to freedom of creative expression. In particular, this research will investigate the extent to which existing restrictions on the production of creative content that build upon pre-existing works violate the right to freedom of creative expression, and the extent to which such restrictions are necessary to safeguard the moral and material interests of authors. The interaction between copyright, human rights and constitutional law will be explored in order to achieve a balancing of the interests at stake. Taking Brazil and the EU as case studies, this thesis will use empirical methods to investigate the existence of a chilling effect that copyright law might be producing on creative production, as suggested in current academic literature.


Paula is a PhD Candidate and Postgraduate Teaching Associate at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies – CCLS at Queen Mary University of London, where she was awarded a CCLS PhD Studentship. Her previous degrees include an LLM in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary University of London, with Distinction, in 2012 and an LLB at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) in 2010. Her past research positions include work as research assistant for Copinger and Skone James on Copyright and for the Intellectual Property Office report 'Evaluation of the Patents County Court Reforms', both in 2013. Paula was also a member of the research group 'Simulações e Realidade' at the Human Rights Centre at PUC-Rio, with emphasis on the Inter-American Human Rights System, where she participated in the draft of an amicus curia brief on freedom of expression and the right of access to information in the Case of Gomes-Lund et al. v. Brazil (the 'Araguaia' case), submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2010. Paula has practiced in law firms in the field of Intellectual Property Law since 2006 and is a qualified lawyer in Brazil.