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  4. CANCELLED: Propertizing European Copyright: History, Challenges, Opportunities… and the fate of copyright balance under Article 17(2) CFREU




CANCELLED: Propertizing European Copyright: History, Challenges, Opportunities… and the fate of copyright balance under Article 17(2) CFREU





Speaker: Professor Caterina Sganga (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, 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. In her recent book “Propertizing European Copyright” Caterina Sganga challenges the validity of such critiques, demonstrating 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.

The talk will illustrate the main assumptions and findings of the work. It will sketch instances of causes and effects of propertization in copyright history, provide snapshots of the impact of private and constitutional property doctrines in selected national experiences, and compare them with the effects of the unsystematic propertization of EU copyright, with particular regard to the CJEU case law on Article 17(2) CFREU and its impact on the interplay between copyright and other fundamental rights. Building on this background and on the features of the EU constitutional property model, it will provide practical examples of how a correctly guided propertization of copyright would rather help tackling the pitfalls of the harmonization process, achieving a greater interpretative coherence, and a more stable copyright balance.


Caterina Sganga is Associate Professor of Comparative Private Law at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Prior to this position, she was Assistant and later Associate Professor of Law at the Department of Legal Studies and Department of Economics and Business of Central European University (CEU, 2012-2018). She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Private Law from Sant’Anna, an LL.M. from Yale Law School, and an LL.B. and J.D. from University of Pisa.

In the past years she held visiting teaching appointments at Maynooth University (Ireland), CEU, the Europa-Kolleg of the University of Hamburg and the University of Pisa, was a fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and a visiting researcher at the Center for Intellectual Property Policy at McGill University (Montreal).

Caterina's key research area is international and comparative intellectual property law, with a focus on European copyright law, IP and new technologies (AI, IoT, cloud computing, cyberspace, digitization), IP and innovation policies, the interplay between IP and human rights, and data ownership and management in the era of big data. She is a member of several international IP and property law associations (EPIP, ATRIP, ALPS) and a fellow of the European Law Institute.

From January 2020, she is the coordinator of the H2020 project reCreating Europe ("Rethinking digital copyright law for a culturally diverse, accessible, creative Europe", 2020-2022), which studies the impact of EU digital copyright law on creativity, cultural diversity and access to knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach and a focus on five groups of stakeholders (individual authors and performers, creative industries, cultural institutions such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums, intermediaries, users). ReCreating Europe aims at offering innovative contributions to assess the impact of current laws, develop reform proposals, and prepare and test guidelines which may inspire the self-regulatory efforts of different interest groups.

Caterina's book "Propertizing European Copyright. History, Challenges and Opportunities" has been published by Edward Elgar in 2018.

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When and where

5.00pm - 7.00pmThursday 2nd April 2020

AG07b College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom