Achievements and New Perspectives
European Intellectual Property Institutes Network series
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 12: The dynamics of harmonization of copyright at the European level1
Over the past twenty years, the European Union (formerly the European Community) has carried out an ambitious agenda of copyright harmonization, with the aim of promoting the Internal Market by removing disparities between the laws of the Member States. This has resulted in seven directives on copyright that were adopted between 1991 and 2001. While these directives have created a measure of uniformity between the laws of the Member States, harmonization has come at considerable cost to the Member States. Also, the directives have largely ignored the single most important obstacle to the creation of an Internal Market in content-based services: the territorial nature of copyright. Despite extensive harmonization, copyright law in the European Union is still largely linked to the geographic boundaries of sovereign Member States. Consequently, copyright markets in the European Union remain vulnerable to compartmentalization along national borderlines.
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