EU Copyright Law
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EU Copyright Law

A Commentary

Edited by Irini A. Stamatoudi and Paul Torremans

Presenting a comprehensive and up to date article-by-article analysis of all EU law in the area of copyright, as well as of the underlying basic concepts and principles, this unique book takes into account all recent legislative amendments and pending initiatives in the context of the EU Digital Agenda, as well as the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Published as part of the Elgar Commentaries series, it discusses challenges for the future that will underpin copyright in the years to come. It also presents ongoing discussions in WIPO and assesses the role of copyright in society and economy both from an EU and an international perspective. It is a thorough and in-depth analysis from a team of leading experts in the field, which combines aspects of theory and practice and places copyright in perspective.
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Jonathan Griffiths


This chapter considers the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union ('the Court') in developing the law of copyright and related rights. In particular, it outlines the significant steps the Court has taken in shaping substantive EU copyright law since its landmark judgment in Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening in 2009. While the Court had considered various aspects of copyright law before Infopaq, it had done so in a relatively piecemeal fashion. Its judgments from 2009 onwards demonstrate an increased determination to interpret the copyright acquis in a manner that promotes the construction of as complete a body of EU copyright law as possible. In its early jurisprudence, the Court had been concerned to establish the appropriate relationship between national copyright rules and certain important Treaty freedoms, notably those relating to freedom of movement of goods, competition and non-discrimination. However, as the European legislator became more active in the sphere of copyright law from the mid-1990s onwards, the Court was also increasingly called upon to rule on the interpretation of secondary legislation. In a number of judgments during this period, it confirmed the continued application of the principles previously established on the relationship between national copyright law and the primary Treaties in the new legislative environment. In others, it provided specific guidance on the terms of the secondary legislation. Thus, for example, it clarified the provisions of the Term Directive under which copyright was revived in works which had previously been in the public domain.

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