This introductory chapter examines the meaning of the term ‘European Union tort law’ and distinguishes it from studies examining the more loosely defined ‘European tort law’. European Union tort law is found in a number of different areas of law ranging from product liability to competition law. It plays an important role in ensuring the effectiveness of EU law and that EU citizens are able to obtain compensation for their losses resulting from breach of EU law. Owing to its diverse and piecemeal nature, its true breadth is often overlooked. Chapter 1 also highlights the cultural tensions underlying the development of EU tort law and the role harmonisation proposals play in this context.
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Whatever the direction a discussion nowadays on contemporary copyright is taking, it is fair to assume that the issue of the balancing of interests will be raised. The chapter looks at the official balancing acts that meet in copyright statutes anywhere (economic versus moral rights; copyright versus related rights; rights versus remedies) as well as those that are not so often mentioned, but that nevertheless have an impact on the understanding of the law (justifications for copyright; shifting identities within copyright law). Canadian law is used to provide examples, but the reasoning can easily resonate elsewhere. Keywords: copyright, copyright balance, copyright subtext, international copyright, collective management, copyright exceptions.