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Global Copyright

Global Copyright

Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace

Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans

This innovative book celebrates the tri-centenary of modern copyright, which began with the enactment of the Statute of Anne by the British Parliament in 1709, and was soon followed by other copyright legislation abroad. The Statute of Anne is traditionally claimed to be the world’s first copyright statute, and is thus viewed as the origin of a system of national laws that today exists in virtually all countries of the world. However, this book illustrates that while there is some truth in this claim, it is also important to treat it with caution.

Chapter 15: Digital Libraries in the Current Legal and Educational Environment: A European Perspective

Marco Ricolfi

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


Marco Ricolfi* 1 THE EU DIGITAL LIBRARIES INITIATIVE: ‘A FUTURE FOR THE PAST (AND FOR THE PRESENT)’ My contribution concerns the EU digital libraries initiative and the copyright issues related to it. Both the Communication by the Commission of September 20051 and the Commission Staff Working Document annexed to it2 quite clearly illustrate what the i2010 strategy is about. Libraries, archives, museums were set up a long time ago in order to preserve text, music, images, audiovisual works and other materials. All this content was originally accumulated and made available in analogue format; in the last decade, however, it turned out that digitisation is appropriate and, * Torino Law School,, While I am a member of the High Level Group set up by the EU Commission on the Digital Libraries Initiative and Chairman of the Subgroup formed within the HLG, in this presentation I express my opinions only as an independent academic writer. I am deeply indebted to my colleagues in the Subgroup for their insights and dedication; however I am the only one to blame for whatever error of fact or judgement may be found in this writing. This paper is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported license ( For additional detail see my Copyright Policy for digital libraries in the context of the i2010 strategy available at 1 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions i2010: Digital...

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