Relaunching the REBSPA for Scholarly Publishing and Another Science? Transcending Clashes Between Copyright and Science

The Covid pandemic served as a magnifying glass for copyright impediments in the field of science. This paper, focusing on scholarly publishing, and here on digital content, assesses the deficits of copyright law in the light of the right of everyone “to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” (REBSPA) in Art. 15(1)(b) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It considers current interpretations of the REBSPA to be flawed. The REBSPA is thus reinterpreted in accordance with what I term a “more” human rights approach. Its two essential elements are the concepts of “adequacy for science” and “global science inclusiveness.” It is concluded that, while copyright needs certain reforms in the interim to accommodate science, in the longer term, entire institutionalised science will have to be reconceived. Genuinely open science requires far-reaching changes of copyright, potentially even its abolition in the field of science altogether.