Copyright Territoriality in the European Union

15-02-2010

In the European Union, despite almost twenty years of harmonization of copyright, copyright has remained essentially national law. Each Member States has its own national regime on copyright and neighbouring (related) rights. Taking into consideration the territorial nature of copyright in the EU, this briefing note provides an analysis of the impacts of copyright territoriality on the main stakeholders concerned, on the Internal Market at large as well as on the emerging knowledge economy in the European Union. In addition, this briefing note suggests some recommendations and solutions aiming at tackling problems raised by copyright territoriality, such as: the fragmented structure of the market; the competitive disadvantage faced by European content providers in comparison with competitors in the United States; as well as denials to access to content services on geographical grounds experienced by consumers. In its conclusion, the briefing note proposes, as an ambitious solution, the introduction of a unified European Copyright Law on the basis of Article 118 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

In the European Union, despite almost twenty years of harmonization of copyright, copyright has remained essentially national law. Each Member States has its own national regime on copyright and neighbouring (related) rights. Taking into consideration the territorial nature of copyright in the EU, this briefing note provides an analysis of the impacts of copyright territoriality on the main stakeholders concerned, on the Internal Market at large as well as on the emerging knowledge economy in the European Union. In addition, this briefing note suggests some recommendations and solutions aiming at tackling problems raised by copyright territoriality, such as: the fragmented structure of the market; the competitive disadvantage faced by European content providers in comparison with competitors in the United States; as well as denials to access to content services on geographical grounds experienced by consumers. In its conclusion, the briefing note proposes, as an ambitious solution, the introduction of a unified European Copyright Law on the basis of Article 118 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Auteur externe

P. Bernt Hugenholtz (Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)