Elgar Commentaries series
Edited by Irini A. Stamatoudi and Paul Torremans
The obvious starting point for a conclusion is that the EU has already dealt with copyright in an extensive way. Initially, these interventions dealt with new technological developments such as software and databases, where it was important to introduce new legislation in a harmonised, rather than a disharmonised way. What followed were interventions to iron out existing differences in national copyright rules that risked disturbing the operation of the single market. One thinks of the term of copyright and the approach to photographs. Another example is the artists' resale right that was extended to all EU Member States. A third group of interventions reflects what happened in the international arena. After the conclusion of the TRIPs Agreement there was a real need to equip right holders and judges with efficient and streamlined tools to enforce copyright. And the WCT and the WPPT needed to be transposed into EU and national law. As these waves of interventions came along, the approach changed from vertical interventions that dealt with a specific issue to more horizontal interventions that apply across the board. One thinks for example of the term of copyright for the first group and for the exceptions and limitations for the second group. In tandem with all these interventions the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) developed an extensive case law that implemented the rules on free movement of goods and competition in copyright related cases.
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