Originality in EU Copyright

Originality in EU Copyright

Full Harmonization through Case Law

Eleonora Rosati

Full harmonization of the copyright laws of EU Member States has long been a holy grail for copyright lawyers, but with the reality thus far being only limited harmonization resulting from ad-hoc legislative interventions, there are serious questions over the feasibility and indeed desirability of this goal. Notwithstanding, as this book makes eloquently clear, whilst legislative initiatives have been limited, the CJEU has been acting proactively, establishing through its decisional practice the de facto harmonization of an important principle of copyright: the originality requirement.

Introduction

Eleonora Rosati

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law

Extract

We are on the cusp of the convergence of two great trends: the pervading influence of the digital environment and the progression of European integration. The process of European Union (EU) harmonization in the field of copyright has brought about several changes in the domestic legal systems of the Member States. The impetus behind EU legislative initiatives in this area has been the awareness that differences between the copyright laws of Member States had the potential to impede the full realization of the internal market objective. In the early days of European integration, intervention in the intellectual property (IP) laws of the Member States was infrequent and – when it happened – was justified in light of eliminating obstacles to free movement or competition. At the end of the 1980s, IP – and so copyright – became part of a broader strategy, aimed at favouring growth and competitiveness throughout Europe. During the 1990s, it became clear that copyright was to play a pivotal role in this respect. As such, the then European Community (EC) copyright agenda became gradually more ambitious.