The EU copyright laws are a set of eleven directives and two regulations. These aim to harmonize essential exclusive rights of authors and of performers, producers and broadcasters. By setting fundamental standards for the dealing of copyrights, the EU law decreases national inconsistencies, safeguards the level of protection required to promote creativity and subsequent investments, ensures a better access of copyrighted work to consumers and even helps promote and protect cultural diversity across Europe.
The EU regulatory framework on copyright and neighboring rights (related rights) consists of a set of 11 directives and 2 regulations, namely:
- Directive on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (“InfoSoc Directive”), 22 May 2001
- Directive on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property (“Rental and Lending Directive”), 12 December 2006
- Directive on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art (“Resale Right Directive”), 27 September 2001
- Directive on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission (“Satellite and Cable Directive”), 27 September 1993
- Directive on the legal protection of computer programs (“Software Directive”), 23 April 2009
- Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property right (“IPRED”), 29 April 2004
- Directive on the legal protection of databases (“Database Directive”), 11 March 1996
- Directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights amending the previous 2006 Directive (“Term Directive”), 27 September 2011
- Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works (“Orphan Works Directive”), 25 October 2012
- Directive on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market (“CRM Directive”), 26 February 2014
- Directive on certain permitted uses of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled (Directive implementing the Marrakech Treaty in the EU), 13 September 2017
- Regulation on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled (Regulation implementing the Marrakech Treaty in the EU), 13 September 2017
- Regulation on cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (“Portability Regulation”), 14 June 2017
There has been an addition of three new and additional instruments under the EU copyright regime in the form of a directive and two council decisions, namely the Directive 87/54/EC, Council Decision 94/824/EC and Council Decision 96/644/EC.
These aim to further harmonize the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products. Similar to this, the E-commerce Directive and the Conditional Access Directive also contain provisions which are relevant to the exercise and the enforcement of copyright.
The gist of the EU copyright regime is to enable harmonization of copyright and promote the efforts to enable copyright protected works to move freely within the internal and international markets.