School of Law

Image of David Alvarez Amezquita

David Alvarez Amezquita

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences



David is a Colombian researcher who joined the University in December 2013. His work as PhD student at the School of Law regards the protection of author's interests in copyright from the human rights perspective. His approach underlines the role of Latin American copyright systems in this aspect. His supervisors are Professor Paul Torremans and Professor Nigel Gravells. The purpose of his research is to propose a new role of the author as beneficiary of human rights protection and the transformative power that this should have on copyright law. David has a extended experience in Latin American Copyrights as legal advisor for the Copyright Sub Directorate at CERLALC-UNESCO and as a Head of the Copyright Register Office at the National Copyright Directorate in Colombia. He also has developed a career researching and teaching at The National University of Colombia (History of Law, Law and Methodology), the Rosario University (LLM) (Intellectual Property Law and Copyright Law), Catholic University -Best Researcher 2010- (Intellectual Property Law, the Law of Securities) and the University of Tolima (History of Law). David received his Law Degree at the National University of Colombia where he also obtained his Magister degree on History (Meritorious), he also obtained an Specialization Degree on Intellectual Property Law at the Externado University. He also studied undergraduate literature at the Javerian University.

Expertise Summary


Universidad Nacional de Colombia Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Law 1995 - 2000 Emphasis on Civil Law, Theory of Law and Constitutional Law. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Literary Studies, Literature 1994 - 2002 I studied Literature, particularly the development of romanticism in Latin American literature and its later consequences on the Latin American Boom. Universidad Externado de Colombia Intellectual Property Law Specialist (Master) 2001 - 2002 The specialization goes deep in the IP field of copyright, industrial property law, and competition law. Universidad Nacional de Colombia Magister in History (Research), Cultural History, 2002 - 2011 Thesis Awarded as Meritorious. Research on history of books, and the construction of an ideal of person through the character from "The sorrows of young Werther" in the post-independent Bogota's XIX Century. Activities and Societies: Investigación en historia del libro y la lectura, en la conformación de ideales de sujeto a partir de la lectura de "Las cuitas del joven Werther" de Goethe. Awards Best Researcher School of Law, Catholic University of Colombia December 2010 Meritorious Thesis The National University of Colombia July 2011 Professional experience Lecturer and Research Assistant in Intellectual Property Universidad del Tolima April 2012 - December 2013 University of Tolima Ibague, Tolima, Colombia Comment: Beneficiary of the University of Tolima scholarship and COLCIENCIAS scholarship for doctoral studies on intellectual property law. Occassional Lecturer Universidad Nacional de Colombia August 2011 - April 2012 Faculty of Law, The National University of Colombia Bogota, Colombia Comment: Occassional Lecturer in Research Methodology, and Law Systems External IP Consultant Fundación Alas de Cristal August 2010 - April 2012 Bogota, Colombia Public Policy Advisor Archivo General de la Nación February 2010 - April 2012 National General Archive (Colombia) Bogota, Colombia Comment: Advisor on public policies development on legislation for archives. Researcher, Professor Universidad Catolica de Colombia July 2006 - April 2012 Research on Intellectual Property Law at The Law School Catholic University of Colombia Bogota, Colombia Comment: Awarded as best researcher Lecturer at Intellectual Property Specialization (MLL) Universidad del Rosario April 2008 - June 2010 Law School, University of Rosario Bogota, Colombia Head of The Register Office Unidad Administrativa Especial Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor July 2006 - January 2008 National Copyright Directorate, Ministry of Interior and Justice Bogota, Colombia Comment:Propose and develop public policies over copyright registration and other issues. Copyright Subdirection Adviser CERLALC November 2002 - July 2006 CERLALC-UNESCO Bogota, Colombia Comment: Adviser on copyright matters, law and public policies for Latin American countries. Research and promotion of creativeness and it´s copyright protection. Research in copyright and publishing sector. Lecturer at international seminars on copyright matters in Latin America. Advisor Copyright Register Office Unidad Administrativa Especial Dirección Nacional de Derecho de Autor August 2000 - January 2002 Legal advisor of the Register Office. National Copyright Directorate, Ministry of Interior and Justice Bogota, Colombia Comment: Support the General Director Office at some issues like The WIPO Domain Name Process in 2001 headed to formulate the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, and the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. Memberships: International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI) Member Starting 2006 Colombian Centre of Copyrights CECOLDA Former President Starting 2002 CECOLDA is the national guild of copyright lawyers of Colombia. Interamerican Copyright Institute Member Starting 2010

Research Summary


Copyright and the idea of author revisited through the human rights instruments, some Latin American scenarios.

Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Covenant), contain rules that protect authors in their moral and material interests. In the same way, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (ADRDM) protects such interests. Considering this, and by overlapping the dates of the principal moments on international copyright treaties and the dates from the UDHR, the Covenant and the ADRDM it was clear that the human rights perspective requires special attention regarding the protection of authors from the point of view of copyright systems. This leads to a simple question: is the author protected by the human rights instruments the same person protected by copyright laws?

This question implies that human rights protection might have or not some influence on the development of copyright laws in the last 70 years. However, from the reading of the history related with the adoption of the UDHR it was clear that copyright, particularly in the French tradition, had some influence in protecting author's interests as human right in 1948. This is fundamental for the question related with the development of different legal traditions to protect authors. Should copyright laws be reshaped from a human rights perspective in order to protect authors?

I have dedicated my recent work in reviewing the discussion related with the interface between copyright and human rights. I found that most of the discourse about this topic focuses only on the spectre of the scope of the rights and its relation with freedom of speech, access to culture, education, and free spreading of ideas. Nevertheless, from the debate between public and private interests, the private side is usually assumed as one part (the right-holder) with less consideration to the relation between the author as human being and other owners who acquire the copyright from the author.

After this work, the shape of my research has been constructed in order to question the role of the author in both systems, copyright and human rights and the effect that the latter might have on the other.

Finally, the research is structured with three elements: first, the theoretical approaches that support the protection of authors in the two systems copyright and human rights; secondly, the history of the two international systems from the point of view of how authors are protected, and thirdly, the role that national copyright laws might have in this relation between human rights and copyright to protect authors.

Funder: Fully funded by COLCIENCIAS and the University of Tolima.

Supervisors: Professor Paul Torremans, Professor Nigel Gravells

Selected Publications

  • ALVAREZ, DAVID FELIPE, 2011. La mano furiosa, la mano inservible, la mano invisible. Derecho de autor y economía (The furious hand, the useless hand, and the invisible hand. Copyright and economy). In: LEON ROBAYO, EDGAR, VARELA PEZZANO, EDUARDO and METKE, RICARDO, eds., Estudios de Propiedad Intelectual Universidad del Rosario.
  • ALVAREZ, DAVID FELIPE, 2009. La noción de Autor (The notion of author) REVISTA IBEROAMERICANA DE DERECHO DE AUTOR.
  • ALVAREZ, DAVID FELIPE, PADILLA, JULIO CESAR, GARZON, ANDREA LILIANA and MUNOZ, LAURA, 2009. Proveedores de servicios de internet y de contenidos, responsabilidad civil y derechos de autor (ISP and content providers, civil liability and copyright) Studiositas. 4(3), 51-64
  • ALVAREZ, DAVID FELIPE, 2009. La edición y el derecho de autor (Copyright and publisher's activity). In: BARVO, CARMEN, ed., Manual de Edicion (Publishers Handbook): Guia para Editores, Autores y Disenadores (Guide for Publishers, Authors, Copyeditors and Designers) Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en America Latina y el Caribe CERLALC - UNESCO.

Past Research

My past research has been related with copyright and intellectual property.

Particularly in the following fields of research:

Public policies for copyright in Latin America

Piracy and legislation against piracy

Theory of Copyright and Intellectual Property

Effects from the various FTA signed by Latin American countries related with IPR.

Copyright and contract law

Limitations and exceptions to copyright

Designs and copyright

Future Research

My future research after the PHD will be focused in two different fields:

First, the theoretical approach to copyright from different sciences in a complex approach.

Second, the application of human rights for author to create policies in three possible spheres of action:

- The international framework regarding international laws to protect author's interests and articulating international intellectual property laws and human rights laws.

- The National sphere proposing legal changes to protect author's position in the exercise of copyright.

- The private and corporate sphere by proposing new policies in the structure of R&D considering the author's active play role in cultural industries.

School of Law

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us