Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

The interface between the EU copyright law and the fundamental economic freedoms of trade and competition in the digital single market: from the FAPL case to the decision in UsedSoft

Mario Cistaro

Keywords: digital; copyright; European Union; competition

The advent of the digital world has reshaped copyright law concepts, such as those regarding public performance, reproduction and distribution. To calibrate the indeterminate status of those concepts and protect the interests of authors in digital marketplaces, the EU, in conformity with the World Copyright Treaty, introduced the new exclusive right of communication to the public of a work. The broad right in question covers every form of digital dissemination, including reproduction, distribution and display of works. However, concerns arise when comparing this stronger copyright protection with the enforcement of the EU economic freedoms of trade and competition into online markets. It is argued that the shift to a digital marketplace has revealed the inadequacy of the doctrine of the exhaustion of the distribution right and that stronger copyright protection could determine the creation for competitors of legal barriers to access digital marketplaces and provide information-related services. Such effects are incompatible with the digital single market objective of the EU, where digital contents freely circulate without any restriction at the national level and where competition is not distorted. This paper explores the grounds of these assumptions by looking at recent decisions of the CJEU. It examines, first, how the Court in the FAPL decision has balanced the author's exclusive right of communication to the public with regard to the interplay between copyright licensing and internal market law in the provision of broadcasting services. The second part analyses the CJEU judgment in UsedSoft, the EU copyright law atomization resulting from the decision and the relevance, if any, in digital markets of differentiating between the exclusive right of distribution of goods, exhaustible, and the exclusive right to provide services, non-exhaustible. The third and last part focuses on the policy implications in terms of innovation connected to the role of copyright law and competition in online markets.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.