15 questions from consumers on copyright
One of the Observatory’s main activities is to help European consumers distinguish lawful from unlawful uses of protected content. 15 questions from consumers give an overview of what copyright protects and allows in the European Union.
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) inform consumers about what is legal and what is not as far as the usage of copyright and related rights-protected content on the internet is concerned.
Answers to the FAQs are given for all EU Member States. They are available in English and in at least one official language of each respective Member State.
Copyright, understood as authors' rights in most of continental Europe, grants a bundle of rights to authors of original works. Thanks to copyright, authors may control how others use their works, and receive remuneration from those uses. European jurisdictions also protect the interests of performers, producers and broadcasters.
At least in authors' rights countries, such protection is granted by ‘related rights', which are distinct from the rights granted to authors. The EU has adopted several legal instruments in the field of copyright. Yet, unlike in other fields of intellectual property law, there is no ‘single EU title' for copyright, and each of the Member States has its own copyright law and policy.
What European consumers can or cannot do with copyright protected content, such as music, films or software, is often not clear. On this page we have set out the most common questions on copyright put together by representatives of European consumers' interests. National copyright experts have provided answers for their respective EU Member State. The answers are available in at least one official language of the country and in English
What will I find here?
From general questions such as, ‘Who owns copyright?' or ‘What does infringement mean?' to issues such as streaming and downloading over the world wide web or copyright use on social media platforms.
The Summary Report on the Frequently Asked Questions on Copyright provides an overview of the differences and similarities between the national copyright laws with regard to the FAQs.
The answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were finalised on the date indicated as the status date on the website. Gathering up-to-date information from 28 Member States is an extensive exercise. While the EUIPO tries to keep the information up-to-date, new case-law or legislative reforms may impact the content of the FAQs. Neither the EUIPO nor any person acting on behalf of the EUIPO is responsible for the use which might be made of the FAQs.