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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 4: The different faces and effects of copyright propertization: EU vs Member States

History, Challenges and Opportunities

Caterina Sganga

Extract

Among the criticisms of the EU harmonization of copyright, one of the recurring, but least scrutinized, is that of being affected by a market property logic. Earlier parts of this study have shown how the phenomenon is far from new, pointed at its numerous instances in the history of national copyright models, and underlined how its effects vary depending on the interplay of normative, institutional and dogmatic variables. Similarly, Chapter 4 compares the effects of the property rhetoric on EU copyright law to the impact of the use of property concepts and rules in national copyright statutes and case law, and of the application of constitutional property doctrines on copyright matters. The survey aims at understanding whether a dogmatically sound propertization of EU copyright may help defeat its current distortive mechanisms and offer instead a systematic framework capable of making the model more consistent, predictable and internally balanced.

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