Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

The age of copyright: Wittem's copyright reform proposal compared to Samuelson's Preliminary Thoughts

Lucky Belder * and Léon E Dijkman * and Arne EM Mombers * *

Keywords: copyright, civil law, common law, author's rights, moral rights, copyright exceptions and limitations, fair use, EU Copyright Code


This article draws a comparison between the draft for a EU Copyright Code by the Wittem Group and Pamela Samuelson's Preliminary Thoughts on Copyright Reform. The authors first outline the development of copyright in Europe and assess how the proposed EU Copyright Code strikes a balance between the different jurisdictions. Next, the authors outline Pamela Samuelson's main critiques of the US copyright system. In comparing the two reform proposals, the authors conclude that the reform initiatives are similar in their critique of the existing system. In particular they seem to agree on the need for reform of the system of limitations to copyright, meaning that convergence of copyright systems should be achieved in this respect. The authors conclude by discussing the balance between copyright and the public domain and offer some tentative observations about the future of copyright harmonization.

Author Notes

The authors would like to express their gratitude to Professor Ewoud Hondius and Professor Jeanne Gaakeer for their most helpful advice and support during the writing process of this article.

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