Legal context

The issue of further harmonisation of copyright at the European level is currently at the centre of one of the most interesting debates on the future of intellectual property law. In 2002 a group of leading copyright academics from across Europe formed the so-called Wittem Group and launched a network project on a European Copyright Code. On 26 April 2010 the result of their work was published.

Key points

Their Code aims at realising important objectives, among them the promotion of consistency and transparency in copyright law-making. But the overall ambitiousness of the Project is actually diminished by the weak positions endorsed, as well as by the lack of comprehensiveness of the Code itself.

Practical significance

Despite the criticisms which can be raised, this European Copyright Code can serve as a starting point for future interventions at the European level, given its structure as a legislative instrument, as well as the content of the provisions contained in it, which provide a fair balance between British and continental approaches to copyright.

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