Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright
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Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright

  • Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Estelle Derclaye

It has been over fifteen years since the EU started harmonising copyright law. This original Handbook takes stock and questions what the future of EU copyright should be. What went wrong with the harmonisation acquis? What did the directives do well? Should copyright be further harmonised? Each of the 25 recognised copyright experts from different European countries gives a critical account of the EU harmonisation carried out on several aspects of copyright law (subject-matter, originality, duration, rights, defences etc.), and asks whether further harmonisation is desirable or not. This way, the Handbook not only gives guidance to European institutions as to what remains to be done or needs to be remedied but is also the first overall picture of current and future EU copyright law.
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Chapter 9: Economic Rights

Ansgar Ohly


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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