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Intellectual property scholars often argue that a European Copyright Code is unnecessary, undesirable, and perhaps impossible. It is certainly true that drafting rules for the European copyright law of the future is a sensitive and risky task. However, the intersection between the present and the future, the delicate point where it is felt that one era is fading away and a new dawn is breaking, has arrived for European copyright law; and moreover, the Lisbon Treaty has provided an explicit legal basis for an EU copyright policy. At this moment, all views, interests, concerns, and expectations should be weighed in order to establish the next step forward from this critical stage. Such a wide-ranging evaluation was the objective of an international conference held in Nicosia, Cyprus, in April 2011. This book reprints the papers presented at that conference.
Several authors offer insightful comments on the ways in which the Wittem Group’s draft European Copyright Code propounds some of these issues. Recognizing that the existing steps towards harmonized copyright protection in Europe have gone little farther than a patchwork of eight directives and a set of case law interpretation rules, the authors take important steps towards decrypting the gaps and inconsistencies in the existing common legal framework. In their reexamination of the sources and justifications of copyright law and its crucial role in balancing the right to information with requirements of data protection and privacy, they have created in this book an in-depth resource for forward-looking policymakers, academics, and practitioners in the field of copyright law throughout the European Union.