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The European Union and Copyright - An Analysis



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Title: The European Union and Copyright - An Analysis
Author: S. Nahar
Organisation: Anonymous
Author Info:
Abstract: The term ‘intellectual property’ became common in the 1960s with the setting up of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). However, this is not to imply that the concept of Intellectual Property did not exist before this. In fact, there are a number of theories (such as the Labor Theory by Locke and the Personality Theory propounded by Emmanual Kant and Hegel) which have been used to explain intellectual property and sufficient state practice exists to determine concretely that this concept of granting rights over inventions, aesthetic works and brands is not exactly new.

There are certain intellectual property rights which require registration to formally be recognised as rights attributable to the authors. Examples of these would be patents, trademarks etc. However Copyright is one of those, which do not require any formalities. It comes into existence when a work is fixated or recorded in any permanent way. A fundamental question can be posed as regards copyrights: What would be the way to determine in case of different jurisdictions which law and the copyright of which author is to be given protection.

The TEU contains a number of provisions, which are directly and indirectly related to the concept of Intellectual property protection. Articles 30 – 36 are related to the elimination of quantitative restrictions on trade between member states to accomplish the free movement of goods. This in itself poses an irreconcilable conflict when it comes to intellectual property rights.

The exercise of an intellectual property right that causes market partitioning will be upheld only insofar as the ‘specific subject matter’ of the right is being protected. Article 86 of the TEU also applies to prevent the abuse of dominant position.

There is a somewhat novel provision in European Law regarding intellectual property which has attracted considerable criticism as well. This is the concept of exhaustion of rights. Normally, a right-holder possesses an exclusive right over the property in its own area together with the proprietary right over the use of the product in other areas. However, thinking that such a rule would have a potential effect of dividing the Community into a number of self-contained areas the above concept was devised. Here if the right is sought to be extended to other states then it must also face the wider competition of the other states.

In this article, the researcher seeks to examine the above-mentioned provisions of the European Union as regards copyright
Keywords: copyright, European Union, copyright licensing
Date Added: 2/24/08
Category: Copyright
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