Tuesday 27 April 2010

The European Copyright Code

This 1709 Blog team member has received so many emails drawing his attention to the launch yesterday of the European Copyright Code that he hopes this information is not equally old news for his readers. The Code is the result of the Wittem Project, established in 2002 as a collaboration between copyright scholars across the EU who were concerned with the future development of European copyright law. Its aim is "to promote transparency and consistency in European copyright law" and, incidentally, to remind legislators of the contribution that academics can make to a debate which is too often dominated by stakeholder interests and the pursuit of the nearest least-damaging compromise.

The Code is not a plea for harmonisation, a restatement of principles or a basis for codification of European copyright law. It takes into account the existing framework of international norms (essentially Berne and TRIPS) and, where possible, the Directives which have been inflicted on the EU Member States.

The Code's methodology is laid bare, its text is clear and its authorship is impeccable. For anyone wishing to be reacquainted of the fundamentals of the economic and moral dimensions of copyright, this is a very good place to start.

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