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Propertizing European Copyright

History, Challenges and Opportunities

Caterina Sganga

With an acceleration in the last decades, the language of property, piracy and theft has become mainstream in copyright matters. Scholars have argued that this latent propertization has progressively led to the undue expansion of copyright and an enclosure of knowledge, causing clashes with users’ fundamental rights and EU social and cultural policies. Challenging the validity of such critiques, Propertizing European Copyright demonstrates that these distortive effects are only the result of mishandled property rhetoric and that a commitment to copyright propertization could enable a more internally consistent and balanced development of EU copyright law.
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Chapter 3: The EU copyright model, or how to lose the compass in a systemic chaos

History, Challenges and Opportunities

Caterina Sganga

Extract

Chapter 3 identifies and analyses the rationales inspiring the EU legislation and their interplay, sheds light on the cryptic IP clause of the CFREU (Article 17(2)), its origins, doctrinal reception, and actual and potential impact on EU copyright law, and underlines the main features of the CJEU’s activism, from the first cases applying EU primary law on national copyright systems in the early 1970s, to the massive number of decisions that have stretched the boundaries of harmonization from 2006 on. The goals of this three-pronged overview are to sketch the hybrid traits of the model, highlight the unintended consequences of its chaotic development without systematic guidance, trace the signs of the rhetorical propertization heavily criticized by scholars, and extract, to the extent possible, systematic indications as to the categorization of the right(s).

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