Clash of cultures – integrating copyright and consumer law

Natali Helberger (Associate Professor at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
L. Guibault (Associate Professor at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

info

ISSN: 1463-6697

Publication date: 21 September 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to deal with the fundamental conceptual differences between consumer law and copyright law that render the application of consumer law to copyright‐law related conflicts difficult.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a normative approach to copyright and consumer law based on an analysis of the relevant literature and case law, the article examines in which situations consumers encounter obstacles when trying to rely on consumer law to invoke “privileges” granted to them under copyright law, such as the private copying exception.

Findings

Research shows that most difficulties lie in the fundamental conceptual differences between consumer law and copyright law regarding the objectives and beneficiaries of each regime, as well as diverging conceptions of “property”, “user rights” and “internal market”. Such discrepancies undeniably follow from the fact that each regime traditionally never had to deal with each other's concerns: consumers never played a role in copyright law, whereas copyright protected works were not seen as consumer goods.

Originality/value

By identifying the main conceptual differences between the two legal regimes, the article contributes in an inter‐disciplinary manner to the discussion on the place of the digital consumer under European law.

Keywords

Citation

Helberger, N. and Guibault, L. (2012), "Clash of cultures – integrating copyright and consumer law", info, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 23-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636691211271208

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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