Originality in EU Copyright
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Originality in EU Copyright

Full Harmonization through Case Law

Eleonora Rosati

Full harmonization of the copyright laws of EU Member States has long been a holy grail for copyright lawyers, but with the reality thus far being only limited harmonization resulting from ad-hoc legislative interventions, there are serious questions over the feasibility and indeed desirability of this goal. Notwithstanding, as this book makes eloquently clear, whilst legislative initiatives have been limited, the CJEU has been acting proactively, establishing through its decisional practice the de facto harmonization of an important principle of copyright: the originality requirement.
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Chapter 3: Originality in a work, or a work of originality: The effects of the Infopaq decision

Full Harmonization through Case Law

Eleonora Rosati


Copyright has never been as intensely discussed at the EU level as it is now. In particular, attention is currently directed at both evaluating the coherence of the acquis communautaire and at assessing whether copyright harmonization should go further, to the point of issuing of an EU-wide copyright law. It is sufficient to recall that in 2010 alone, two important documents were published.Firstly, in April, the Wittem Group, composed of leading European copyright academics, released a European Copyright Code, which, as was clearly stated therein, ‘might serve as a model or reference tool for future harmonization or unification of copyright at the European level’. Secondly, in May, Mario Monti addressed the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso with a Report containing A new strategy for the single market at the service of Europe’s economy and society (also known as the Monti Report), in which due attention was paid to the issue of further harmonization of copyright. From the foregoing, it is apparent that in the past few years, as compared to positions previously endorsed, the approach to copyright at the EU level has taken a different shape. Indeed, a relatively insignificant length of time has passed since the publication of the Commission Staff Working Paper on the review of the EC legal framework in the field of copyright and related rights, which was released in 2004.

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