Table of Contents

EU Copyright Law

EU Copyright Law

A Commentary

Elgar Commentaries series

Edited by Irini A. Stamatoudi and Paul Torremans

Presenting a comprehensive and up to date article-by-article analysis of all EU law in the area of copyright, as well as of the underlying basic concepts and principles, this unique book takes into account all recent legislative amendments and pending initiatives in the context of the EU Digital Agenda, as well as the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Published as part of the Elgar Commentaries series, it discusses challenges for the future that will underpin copyright in the years to come. It also presents ongoing discussions in WIPO and assesses the role of copyright in society and economy both from an EU and an international perspective. It is a thorough and in-depth analysis from a team of leading experts in the field, which combines aspects of theory and practice and places copyright in perspective.


Uma Suthersanen and Maria Mercedes Frabboni

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law, law -professional, intellectual property law


This chapter analyses Directive 2012/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on certain permitted uses of orphan works. This Directive is the result of a legislative process that addresses the legal situation where authors or rights holders of copyright protected works cannot be identified or located. It does this by establishing the conditions under which the orphan work status can be declared throughout the EU region, and under which such works can legitimately be reproduced and made available online. Without lengthy consideration of the actual risk and commercial consequences for a cultural heritage institution to be sued by an author who has found out that his work was considered to be an orphan, the EU accepted that 'soft-law' initiatives such as the 2006 Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural content and preservation were not sufficient to address the orphan works issue in an appropriate manner. Despite the Recommendation, only a few Member States have implemented orphan works legislation. Moreover, developments at the national level were circumscribed by the fact that they were not capable of addressing the issues posed by the online environment as they limited online access to citizens resident in their national territories. This was ignoring the cultural and educational potential offered by cross-border access of content.

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