Propertizing European Copyright

History, Challenges and Opportunities

Caterina Sganga, Associate Professor of Comparative Private Law, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy

With an acceleration in the last decades, the language of property, piracy and theft has become mainstream in copyright matters. Scholars have argued that this latent propertization has progressively led to the undue expansion of copyright and an enclosure of knowledge, causing clashes with users’ fundamental rights and EU social and cultural policies. Challenging the validity of such critiques, Propertizing European Copyright demonstrates that these distortive effects are only the result of mishandled property rhetoric and that a commitment to copyright propertization could enable a more internally consistent and balanced development of EU copyright law.

‘A lot has been written about the harmonisation of EU copyright law, but this study offers a fundamental analysis by going back to the concept of the propertization of copyright. The current EU framework turns out to be inconsistent and based on hybrid narratives. Through a comparative analysis of national copyright regimes a proper constitutional propertization is proposed, with a key role for the social function doctrine. This study is a vital contribution to the understanding of copyright law.’
– Paul Torremans, The University of Nottingham, UK

‘This book offers a fresh perspective into copyright law and questions the approach to copyright as a property right alone. It explores how the propertization of copyright has affected the law using civil and comparative law tools. The author forces us to take one step back and reconsider what the origins of copyright are, where we currently stand and what our future aims should be. A thought-provoking yet highly practical piece of work which takes a holistic approach to EU copyright.’
– Irini Stamatoudi, Director, Hellenic Copyright Organization, Greece

2018 336 pp Hardback 978 1 78643 040 3 £100.00 £90.00 $145.00 $130.50

Elgaronline 978 1 78643 041 0

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. is registered in the UK at: The Lypiatts, 15 Lansdown Road,
Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Registered number: 2041703

How To Order


Get up to 20% discount when you order online

By Email

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]

By Phone

UK/ROW: +44 (0) 1243 843291

N/S America: (800) 390-3149

Connect With Us

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

For news, views and offers


Read our Blog

For news, views and debate from our authors and readers.

For More Information

UK/ROW: [email protected]

N/S America: [email protected]