Chapter 1: The challenges of EU copyright: 'United in Diversity' - Does it work?
In general, it can be said that European concerns with copyright and intellectual property grew steadily as information became more significant as an economic commodity. So far, fourteen directives have been issued, directly or indirectly dealing with various aspects of copyright and related rights. Accordingly, harmonization has resulted in a rich body of case law, which has tackled copyright from several different perspectives.Prior to the commencement of the harmonization process (the debate surrounding which flourished at the institutional and political level only at the end of the 1980s, although there had been earlier studies which tackled harmonization issues), the intellectual property laws of the Member States had been affected by EC law to a limited extent. This was mainly through the treaty provisions on competition and free movement of goods. It is therefore apparent that, from its very onset, copyright harmonization at the EU level was viewed as functional to the broader internal market objective. The latter denotes an area without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions in the treaties. Therefore, competence of the EU as regards the harmonization of the intellectual property laws of the Member States has been consistently justified in light of current Articles 26 and 114 TFEU. Article 26(1) TFEU sets out the EU competence to adopt measures aimed at establishing or ensuring the functioning of the internal market, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the treaties.