Dr. Caterina Sganga visits the Amsterdam Law School for a CSECL Lecture.
About the speaker
Caterina Sganga joined Sant’Anna as an Associate Professor of Comparative Private Law in October 2018. Prior to her appointment at SSSA, 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.
Dr. Sganga'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, cyberpsace, 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.
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights elevates intellectual property to the rank of fundamental right, mentioning it in the second paragraph of its property clause (Article 17(2)). In the history of copyright, labelling authors’ exclusive rights as property has always been used as a supporting argument or justification for the recognition of longer and absolute entitlements. Along the same lines, commentators have argued that the provision has introduced a positive obligation for the EU legislator to increase the degree of protection granted to IP, or at least a negative obligation that crystallizes existing rights. Ten years later, the CJEU's remarkably rich copyright case-law seems to confirm that the balance between copyright and conflicting fundamental rights, and copyright and public interest goals, has been tilted. But is the "constitutional propertization" of copyright to blame for this development?
The presentation will first analyze the most relevant CJEU’s decisions featuring Article 17(2) CFREU, with the aim of mapping the impact of the provision on the level of protection granted to copyright. Then, it will compare their arguments, doctrines, principles and balancing techniques with the more cautious and complex approach adopted by the Court in the field of property rights, in order to appreciate commonalities and divergences and draw, on this basis, hypotheses on the role played by the propertization of copyright in the process. The two-folded analysis will unveil the most evident inconsistencies and loopholes affecting the CJEU copyright case law, shed lights on their underlying reasons, and offer hints for the construction of a new interpretative framework which may guide the constitutionalization of EU copyright, while ensuring the respect of the full panoply of its institutional functions.