Promises and Pitfalls of the European Copyright Law Harmonisation Process
THE EUROPEAN UNION & THE CULTURE INDUSTRIES: REGULATION AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST, David Ward, ed., Ashgate 2007
31 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007
This chapter explores the current level of harmonisation in copyright and related rights law as resulting from the action of the European legislator in order to establish a legal framework fostering production and distribution of contents, and promoting the cultural industries growth. From the survey of the community directives constituting the current aquis communautaire and the analysis of their implementation emerging trends and pitfalls raise doubts as to the consistency of the assumptions underlying the current copyright law policy of the European Union (EU).
The first part of the chapter surveys the process of harmonisation leading to the current legal framework and stresses its discrepancies in order to ascertain whether the current level of protection does create value and increase the EU's competitiveness. The second part of the chapter addresses the current European copyright law policy in respect of two relevant issues: first, the impact of such policy on the ways in which cultural goods are produced and distributed in the digital environment, and second, the emerging conflict between the proprietary regime that has been developed and the fundamental rights of freedom of expression.
Keywords: copyright law, harmonization, policy, community law, freedom of expression
JEL Classification: K33
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