P. Bernt Hugenholtz (ed.), Copyright Reconstructed

Author:Thomas Dreier
Position:Prof. Dr. iur.; M.C.J. (New York University); Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, and Honorary Professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany
Pages:338-340
 
FREE EXCERPT
2018
Thomas Dreier
338
3
P. Bernt Hugenholtz (ed.),
Copyright Reconstructed
Rethinking Copyright’s Economic Rights in a Time of Highly
Dynamic Technological and Economic Change,
Information Law Series, Vol. 41, Wolters Kluwer, Alphen aan
den Rijn, 2018
by Thomas Dreier, Prof. Dr. iur.; M.C.J. (New York University); Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies at
the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, and Honorary Professor at the University of Freiburg,
Germany.
© 2018 Thomas Dreier
Everybody may disseminate this ar ticle by electronic m eans and make it available for downloa d under the terms and
conditions of the Digital P eer Publishing Licence (DPPL). A copy of the license text may be obtain ed at http://nbn-resolving.
de/urn:nbn:de:0009-dppl-v3-en8.
Recommended citation: Th omas Dreier, Book Review: P. Bernt Hugenholtz (ed.), Copyr ight Reconstructed: Ret hinking
Copyright’s Economic Rights in a T ime of Highly Dynamic Technological and Economic Change, 9 (2018) JIPI TEC 338 para 1.
1
The fact that copyright law is coming under pressure
due to digital technology and, in particular, the
networking of an increasing number of mobile
devices has not only recently been acknowledged.
Moreover, the economic, as well as cultural
importance of copyright, copyrighted subject matter
and the copyright industries has consistently risen
over the last few decades (with copyright-intensive
industries representing almost 11.6 million of jobs
– 5.4% of employment in the EU – and 6.8% of EU
GDP; see Factsheet, European Commission, 2018).
However, up until today, copyright statutes use
legal terms and contain rules that have their roots
in the early days of book printing (“reproduction”)
and of sound records, as well as of broadcasting
(“public communication”). The use of an essentially
scholastic method applied to interpret these terms
and rules with regard to problems of digitization
and networking, however, sometimes leads to
strange results. Above all, this does not do justice
to neither the economic current framework for
the exploitation of copyrighted works and related
subject matter, nor to the economic business models
and technical congurations based on them. In the
words of the promotional yer of the book: “The
historical evolution of copyright has led to a growing
disconnect between the legal denitions of economic
rights and the business and technological realities
they regulate, eroding copyright’s normative content
and distorting the scope of its economic rights.” This
is all well known, and yet there are not many studies
that undertake, or at least aim at, a comprehensive
reconstruction of existing rights with regard to
copyrighted works. However, undertaking such an
exercise is of major importance, particularly since
the CJEU got itself entangled in interpreting the
existing exclusive rights without being able to design
a coherent picture which could satisfy the needs of
the digital environment – which was mainly due to
the isolated cases that are being referred. Moreover,
the European legislature does no longer seem to
have the political power to design and implement a
legal system which constitutes an adequate response
to digital challenges, but rather contends itself right
from the outset with what is politically feasible, as it
is well demonstrated by the rather restricted scope
of the EU Commission’s proposal on a Directive on
Copyright in the Digital Market.
Book Review

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