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ECS Annual Conference 2024

Posted on    by Martin Kretschmer
Blog

ECS Annual Conference 2024

This Friday, 24 May 2024, the European Copyright Society convenes for its annual conference. We’ll meet this time in Frankfurt under the auspices of the current chair Prof. Alexander Peukert with a keynote by Prof. Thomas Koch, the presiding judge of the copyright senate of the Bundesgerichtshof.

I’ll present (with colleagues Prof. Tatiana Eleni Synodinou, University of Cyprus, and Prof. Thomas Margoni, CiTiP, KU Leuven) reflections on the concept of lawful access that is permeating European Copyright Law.

The paradox of lawful access: a discussion

In a data driven technological world increasingly characterized by the substitution of ownership of physical copies with access to digital services, the concepts of lawful use, lawful source and lawful access may need fundamental rethinking. “Lawfulness” is linked in complex ways to assumptions about what is private and public, and to related approaches to good faith, intention and knowledge in other domains of law. Some initial recognition of this complexity can be seen in the case law of the CJEU on communication to the public, where the stricter approach characteristic of cases such as ACI Adam in relation to the right of reproduction has been replaced by a softer knowledge (and presumption) based model. Yet, this may not be sufficient in the face of the latest technological advancements, such as training generative AI systems on protected works and/or data. A possible solution could be separating the concepts of (lawful) access (e.g., Arts. 3&4 CDSMD) from that of (lawful) sources. Another possible solution may be to distinguish the purpose: lawful access could be easier to attain in particularly deserving cases, such as scientific research, or journalistic work.

In May 2025, the European Copyright Society will come to Glasgow and CREATe. We’ll keep you posted!