Fundamental rights in EU copyright law: an overview

Tito Rendas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Fundamental rights have been serving diferent functions in the copyright case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Most notably, the Court has confrmed time and again that fundamental rights have horizontal efects, asserting that the copyright acquis must be interpreted in light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and in a way that expresses a “fair balance” between competing rights. In assessing that balance, the Court recurrently weighs various Charter rights. On the one hand, copyright itself is protected under the fundamental right to property enshrined in Article 17. On the other hand, the CJEU has been increasingly relying on users’ fundamental rights - namely, freedom of expression and information, the right to the protection of personal data, the freedom of the arts, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business - as counterweights to the proprietary interests of rightholders. These rights have been employed by the CJEU mainly in relation to three aspects of copyright law: (i) ownership and scope of protection, (ii) exceptions and (iii) enforcement measures. This chapter provides a sketch of the infuence exerted by fundamental rights in these areas, with particular emphasis on CJEU case law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of EU Copyright Law
EditorsEleonora Rosati
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003156277
ISBN (Print)9780367436964
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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