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 10: Moral Rights

Willem Grosheide


9 Economic rights Ansgar Ohly 1. Introduction In the public perception copyright has advanced from a rather technical subject to a topic of great common interest. In particular the relationship between copyright and the public domain is the subject of considerable debate on both sides of the Atlantic.1 Right holders, who are afraid of losing control over their works in the digital environment, have successfully pushed for a steady stengthening of copyright protection. On the other hand there is a growing awareness of users’ rights and an increasing fear that copyright might hinder rather than promote creativity. Sadly, this debate seems largely restricted to some of the other topics discussed in this volume.2 There is controversy about which subject-matter should be copyrightable, about adequate copyright duration, about exceptions and limitations, about technical protection measures and about new types of works such as databases. Other issues such as moral rights and first ownership mirror the traditional differences between copyright systems and author’s rights systems.3 An overview of the current debate is given by the contributions in Guibault, Lucie and P. Bernt Hugenholtz (eds) (2006), The Future of the Public Domain, Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer; Hilty, Reto M. and C. Geiger (eds), (2007), Impulse für eine europäische Harmonisierung des Urheberrechts/Perspectives d’harmonisation du droit d’auteur en Europe, Berlin, etc.: Springer; see also Geiger, C., ‘ “Constitutionalising” Intellectual Property Law? The Influence of Fundamental Rights on Intellectual Property in the European Union’, (2006) 37 IIC 371; Hilty, Reto M., ‘Sündenbock Urheberrecht...

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