Abstract: In this opinion, the European Copyright Society (ECS) puts on record its views on the issues raised by the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-201/13, Deckmyn, which departs from the doctrine of strict interpretation of exceptions and limitations in cases in which fundamental rights such as freedom of expression are involved.
The opinion welcomes this development for the following reasons: firstly, due to the importance of exceptions and limitations in facilitating creativity and securing a fair balance between the protection of and access to copyright works; secondly, because of the Court’s determination to secure a harmonized interpretation of the meaning of exceptions and limitations; thirdly, because of the Court’s adoption of an approach to the interpretation of exceptions and limitations which promotes their effectiveness and purpose; and, finally, due to the Court’s recognition of the role of fundamental rights in the copyright system: in particular, its recognition that the parodic use of works is justified by the right to freedom of expression. At the same time, the ECS recommends caution in constraining the scope of exceptions and limitations in a manner that may go beyond what might be considered necessary in a democratic society.
The European Copyright Society (ECS) was founded in January 2012 with the aim of creating a platform for critical and independent scholarly thinking on European Copyright Law. Its members are scholars and academics from various countries within Europe. The Society is not funded by, nor has been instructed by, any particular stakeholders.
Assistance with drafting this was provided by Elena Izyumenko, Doctoral Candidate at the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI), University of Strasbourg. The ECS wishes to express its gratitude for her help.