User Contracts (Demand Side)

81 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2015

See all articles by Marcella Favale

Marcella Favale

Bournemouth University; University of Glasgow

Estelle Derclaye

University of Nottingham, School of law

Date Written: 2010


A number of doctrinal concerns have been expressed regarding user contracts. To what extent do the terms of these licences depart from copyright law? Are the rights they grant to the owner broader or more restrictive? Are the entitlements of users, beneficiaries of copyright limits, hindered in some form? While no comprehensive empirical study has been conducted to analyse the different types of licensing agreements deployed on the market and their impact on copyright limits, a body of theoretical legal literature exists on this issue.

This Article provides an overview of the doctrinal debate on this topic, with a particular focus on the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, and Portugal. The latter three countries are interesting for our discourse because they have enacted legislation protecting copyright limits from contracts, by declaring contractual clauses that override some copyright limits null and void. This literature review is not only concerned with copyright exceptions to the exclusive rights of the author, but all of copyright‘s limits, namely the idea-expression dichotomy, the originality requirement, the first-sale (or exhaustion) doctrine, the extent of the economic rights, and the copyright term.

Keywords: Copyright, Contract, User rights, Copyright Exceptions, Digital Rights Management, European Law

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Favale, Marcella and Derclaye, Estelle, User Contracts (Demand Side) (2010). Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Marcella Favale (Contact Author)

Bournemouth University ( email )

Fern Barrow
Poole BH12 5BB, Dorset BH8 8EB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

University of Glasgow ( email )

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

Estelle Derclaye

University of Nottingham, School of law ( email )

Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom


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