Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Andrej Savin and Jan Trzaskowski
If the Internet is without any doubt a perfect tool for disseminating and exchanging ideas through various ways of expression, the content accessible online involves, in many cases, works that are protected by copyright. Copyright law protects both the author’s economic and moral interests. Three major exclusive economic rights, that is, the right to reproduction, the right to communication or making available to the public and the right to distribution, have been harmonised at the EU level in arts 2 to 4 of Directive 2001/29/EC on copyright and related rights (‘the Directive’). The relevant acts are reserved to the author or the holder of a neighbouring right only. However, not all uses of works protected by copyright amount to infringement of an exclusive right. First, the right holder may authorise certain uses of his work, for example, by contract. Second, certain uses are left outside the sphere of his control, if they are covered by an ‘exception or limitation’ to copyright law. Limitations are a crucial element of any copyright system: they not only play an important role in access to culture and education but they also stimulate the creation of new works, which in most cases build on existing works. Other than exclusive rights, limitations are not truly harmonised: the European legislator chose the approach of an optional exhaustive list from which Member States were free to implement the ones they found most suitable (see Section II).
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.