Table of Contents

Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright

Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Estelle Derclaye

It has been over fifteen years since the EU started harmonising copyright law. This original Handbook takes stock and questions what the future of EU copyright should be. What went wrong with the harmonisation acquis? What did the directives do well? Should copyright be further harmonised? Each of the 25 recognised copyright experts from different European countries gives a critical account of the EU harmonisation carried out on several aspects of copyright law (subject-matter, originality, duration, rights, defences etc.), and asks whether further harmonisation is desirable or not. This way, the Handbook not only gives guidance to European institutions as to what remains to be done or needs to be remedied but is also the first overall picture of current and future EU copyright law.

Chapter 13: The Issue of Exceptions: Reshaping the Keys to the Gates in the Territory of Literary, Musical and Artistic Creation

Marie-Christine Janssens

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


12 Dealing with rights in copyright-protected works: assignments and licences Andreas Rahmatian* 1. Introduction: use of copyright Copyright, in line with all other intellectual property rights, is often referred to as a ‘negative right’, that is, a right to prevent others from doing certain things.1 However, this is an overstatement. In the same way as a plot of land, for example, is not merely owned to keep out trespassers, but also used for, say, crops or buildings, copyright is a positive right also and cannot be reduced to the infringement component only. Copyright in its conception as a property right, at least in the UK,2 arguably shares the conceptual features of any property right, which means that the extent and content of the copyright are expressed by an external and an internal aspect.3 The external aspect denotes the relationship of the holder of the property right to third parties and is the right to exclude, in the form of a trespass/infringement action. The internal aspect denotes the content or substance of the property right and is the right to use: it is what in relation to property rights over tangible objects would be referred to as incidents of ownership, for example, a right to possession and use, a right to management, to capital and income, or a right to alienate and burden.4 These incidents of ownership are determined by (among other things) the physical characteristics of the object of the property (if any).5 Since in the case of...

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