Private Copying (Hardback) book cover

Private Copying

By Stavroula Karapapa

© 2012 – Routledge

218 pages

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Paperback: 9781138016835
pub: 2014-03-14
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pub: 2012-05-28
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This book offers an original analysis of private copying and determines its actual scope as an area of end-user freedom. The basis of this examination is Article 5(2)(b) of the Copyright Directive. Despite the fact that copying for private and non-commercial use is permitted by virtue of this article and the national laws that implemented it, there is no mandate that this privilege should not be technologically or contractually restricted. Because the legal nature of private copying is not settled, users may consider that they have a ‘right’ to private copying, whereas rightholders are in position to prohibit the exercise of this ‘right’. With digital technology and the internet, this tension has become prominent: the conceptual contours of permissible private copying, namely the private and non-commercial character of the use, do not translate well, and tend to be less clear in the digital context.

With the permissible limits of private copying being contested and without clarity as to the legal nature of the private coping limitation, the scope of user freedom is being challenged. Private use, however, has always remained free in copyright law. Not only is it synonymous with user autonomy via the exhaustion doctrine, but it also finds protection under privacy considerations which come into play at the stage of copyright enforcement. The author of this book argues that the rationale for a private copying limitation remains unaltered in the digital world and maintains there is nothing to prevent national judges from interpreting the legal nature of private copying as a ‘sacred’ privilege that can be enforced against possible restrictions.

Private Copying will be of particular interest to academics, students and practitioners of intellectual property law.


"Dr Karapapa’s Private Copying is a timely publication which emerged from the author’s PhD thesis. […] the book provides a thoughtful and engaging analysis of the various issues surrounding this copyright exception or limitation." Eleonora Rosati, European Intellectual Property Review

"Private Copying, with its original, purely European approach, constitutes a valuable contribution to a pan-European discussion on the topic of private copying for various reasons. First, it is a rich source of references to national regulations and case law. Moreover, one of the main advantages of this book is that it offers a thorough academic analysis of the topic in a concise and easy-to-read fashion. In addition, the presentation of the topic remains attached to real-life problems related to private copying" Theodoros Chiou, International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law

"Private Copying provides a brilliant analysis of the unresolved discourse, […] The author offers a fresh perspective to the debate over private copying in light of the advent of digital copying and online dissemination methods" Gaetano Dimita, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

Table of Contents

1. Legal Nature and Rationale 2. The Permitted Activities 3. Defining 'Private' 4. Defining 'Non-Commercial' 5.Fitting private copying into the three-step test 6. Levies on Private Copying 7. Technological Restrictions on Private Copying 8. Contractual Constraints on Private Copying 9. Conclusion

About the Author

Stavroula Karapapa (LLB, LLM, PhD) is lecturer in intellectual property law at Brunel University and practicing Barrister at the Athens Bar, specialising in Intellectual Property and Internet law. Her chief research interests focus on the intersection of law and technology.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Intellectual Property

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Intellectual Property / General
LAW / Intellectual Property / Copyright
LAW / Computer & Internet