- Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Estelle Derclaye
Chapter 9: Economic Rights
8 Authorship, ownership, wikiship: copyright in the 21st century Jeremy Phillips* Roadmap This chapter starts by contrasting approaches to copyright law that are driven by the contemplation of generalities with those that are shaped by study of specific situations that may not comply with those generalities. Then, taking the wiki as its paradigm, it seeks to explain what a wiki is, whether it is even an apt subject for copyright law as we understand it in the European Union and whether it is additionally a subject of the law that governs sui generis database right. There follow some brief exercises in identifying questions that must be answered when identifying the author for copyright purposes, in examining the applicability of moral rights to wiki contributors. Finally, the chapter asks whether the apparent silence of the European Commission regarding the legal status of the wiki is a positive silence or a negative one, concluding with a review of consensual solutions as a means of avoiding legal battles surrounding the uncertainty of the wiki’s status. Of necessity, much of this chapter is speculative. There is no rich tapestry of European national litigation or scholarly writing to which reference may be made and such controversies as wikis have generated have been led more by issues of accuracy of content and of political control than by considerations relating to intellectual property. Like the elephant at the breakfast table, Wikipedia is so vast an enterprise that it cannot be ignored. This chapter, while mentioning it where...
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