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.

Chapter 21: TOWARDS A EUROPEAN COPYRIGHT LAW: FOUR ISSUES TO CONSIDER

Alain Strowel

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

Extract

The Europeanisation of copyright law follows various paths. Secondary EU copyright law, embedded in the ten Directives devoted to copyright issues, has indeed contributed to the approximation of national copyright laws. But the Europeanisation of copyright has recently taken another route: since the seminal Infopaq I decision of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU or the Court), the Court (and Advocate Generals) of Luxembourg regularly deliver decisions (and opinions) which rule on major copyright issues, such as the notions of work and originality, the scope of the rights and the limits of exceptions. Those decisions (and opinions) not only make the law, they also indicate the direction that copyright reform should take in the future - if the EU continues to legislate in the field of copyright. To describe the far-reaching impact of the CJEU case law, some scholars have coined the terms 'harmonisation by stealth' or 'filling the gaps'. It is clear that a court-made harmonisation of European copyright is under way.The CJEU is likely to offer a sufficiently coherent interpretation regarding the substantive conditions of protection, the scope of the rights belonging to copyright and the copyright exceptions. These constitute some of the main building blocks of copyright. The Court might also inject the dose of flexibility needed for a balanced system of copyright that keeps up with the digital developments.

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