Research Handbook on Copyright Law
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Research Handbook on Copyright Law

Second Edition

Edited by Paul Torremans

This second edition is a timely presentation of the state-of-the-art in copyright research. Copyright law is currently at the centre of many debates and the subject of substantive new developments. The new edition of the Research Handbook captures these fast moving developments and goes far beyond a mere update of the chapters. All of the topical chapters are completely new and the authors have been chosen for their expertise and excellence in the areas concerned. Research Handbook on Copyright Law offers global coverage, both in terms of substance and in terms of author expertise, and maps both the present and future of the discipline. It will prove an invaluable research tool for all those involved in copyright research who wish to keep up with the pace at which this area of law is evolving.
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Chapter 18: Copyright and related rights: outlining a case for European morality/public policy exclusion

Justine Pila


In contrast to the position under European patent and trademark laws, European copyright and related rights legislation does not currently provide for the exclusion from protection of subject matter that is contrary to morality or public policy. Given the general antipathy that exists to Court of Justice decision-making in the intellectual property field, the criticism generated by the Court’s 2011 decision that human dignity precludes the patenting of any product the preparation of which involves the destruction of a post-fertilization human embryo, and the seeming absurdity of recent suggestions by French public authorities that morality and public policy (ordre public) require burkini-clad beachgoers to undress, the immediate reaction to this position might be relief at being saved the spectacle of the EU exploiting any further opportunity to define the requirements of morality and public policy for its 28 Member States, particularly in a field as important to the creative industries as copyright and related rights. Nonetheless, and as unpopular as existing European social norms and jurisprudence in this area might be, there is a strong case to be made for the introduction of a European morality/public policy exclusion from copyright and related rights. Keywords: Copyright, intellectual property, EU law, morality/public policy, fundamental rights, subject matter exclusions

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