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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 5: The social function of copyright as property right

History, Challenges and Opportunities

Caterina Sganga

Extract

Chapter 5 attempts to define the main traits of the EU constitutional property model under which EU copyright law would be subsumed, comparing and merging the common constitutional traditions of Member States with the indications from the CJEU and the ECtHR. It identifies the social function doctrine as a common platform on which the holistic reading of these sources, in line with the interpretative rules of EU primary law, may take place. After an overview of the most relevant effects that the vertical and horizontal application of the social function clause may have on property systems, the chapter outlines the social functions of copyright as described by EU sources and identifies the main areas laying the groundwork for the four-dimensional experiment of systematization of EU copyright as property, to which Chapter 6 is devoted.

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