Enforcement of Copyrights Over the Internet: A Review of the Recent ECJ Case Law
Journal of Internet Law,, Vol. 21., No. 4, October 2017: p. 1 & 13-28.
17 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 1, 2017
Following the adoption of the InfoSoc and the Enforcement directives, momentous change has occurred in copyright law. Firstly, the amount of online copyright infringements has grown exponentially to an unforeseen level. Secondly, the borderless nature of the Internet has led to challenges regarding the cross-border enforcement of copyrights. Thirdly, in the last decade the ECJ went very active in its decision making. Dozens of preliminary rulings were published by the ECJ, in which the forum interpreted the constantly growing number of directives and in several cases the ECJ adopted quite a reformatory approach. This article aims to address whether the existing EU copyright norms is effective enough to tackle online copyright infringements. The article therefore collects and outlines the most recent preliminary rulings of the ECJ. Four different topics will be highlighted: the disclosure of personal data of Internet users; filtering and website blocking; damages related to copyright infringements; and the international private law aspects of copyright law enforcement. All topics will be analysed using the same framework. The article will ultimately conclude that amendments to the acquis communautaire are inevitable. However, reaching consensus on what amendments to implement may prove more problematic and challenging than it was in 2001 and 2004, when the InfoSoc and Enforcement Directives were accepted. As part of this paper’s concluding remarks, we will also briefly examine the recent developments in the Digital Single Market Strategy (DSMS) and law enforcement.
Keywords: copyright law, law enforcement, European Court of Justice, European Union, disclosure of personal data, filtering and website blocking, coypright damages, international private law, acquis communautaire, Digital Single Market Strategy, preliminary rulings
JEL Classification: O34, K11, K19, K33, K41, K42
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