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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of copyright in general in common law and civil law countries, with an emphasis on the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). It addresses the history and philosophies of copyright (authors’ right), subject matter of copyright (including the requirement of fixation and the exclusion of “ideas”), formalities, initial ownership and transfers of title, duration, exclusive moral and economic rights (including reproduction, adaptation, public performance and communication and making available to the public, distribution and exhaustion of the distribution right), exceptions and limitations (including fair use), and remedies. It also covers the liability of intermediaries, and new copyright obligations concerning technological protections and copyright management information. It concludes with some observations concerning the role of copyright in promoting creativity and free expression.

Keywords: Intellectual property, copyright, Berne Convention, WCT, originality, fixation, three-step test, fair use, Information Society Directive, intermediary liability

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