Elgar Commentaries series
Edited by Irini A. Stamatoudi and Paul Torremans
Chapter 6: THE RENTAL AND LENDING RIGHTS DIRECTIVE
The Directive on rental right and lending rights and on certain related rights is originally from 1992. It was the first European legislative instrument dealing with actual authors' rights and adopting a horizontal approach (as it is not concentrated on a specific object like Directive 91/250 on computer programs and as it provides all right holders of the creative chain with specific rights). The importance of this Directive goes beyond the right in the temporary making available of protected works and subject matters. It is a benchmark for the introduction of an unwaivable right to remuneration and the definition of the film director as an author of the film. It is also one of the few sources of an explicit justification in the applicable European copyright law: 'The creative and artistic work of authors and performers necessitates an adequate income as a basis for further creative and artistic work, and the investments required particularly for the production of phonograms and films are especially high and risky' (Recital 5). The Directive pursues two goals: to harmonise copyright law and to found this harmonisation on a high level of protection. Indeed the sole wish to approximate the applicable law in the Common Market could definitely not justify the extent of the Directive. The choice of the exclusive right for the implementation of a rental right is the best example of this wish to set high standards of protection.
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