Programme Overview

The XVII Nordic Copyright Symposium will begin with an update on legislative and court developments that have taken place in the Nordic countries since the last meeting in Helsinki in 2017 (Session I). But our main focus will be on what is now an absolutely fundamental issue: the impact of EU law in the Nordic countries. Or, put another way: what is left of a distinctively Nordic copyright? The question is undeniably complex, but it is an important one to ask and answer.

The symposium thus aims to shed light on the interaction between two legal orders, the European and the national, examining the foundations of EU law as well as possibilities for interpreting the expressions and concepts used in directives and regulations, and the extent to which Member States can supplement EU rules with their own. How is EU law actually applied in the Nordic countries to the fields of copyright and related rights? What is required of a Member State's lawmakers and judges? What are the principal approaches and what differences exist between Member States or vis-a-vis EEA countries? Is it enough to produce a particular substantive result, or is a new approach called for? Session II will seek answers to such questions.

A common thread through the symposium's programme is the CJEU's exeedingly extensive and often shifting rulings in the field of copyright and related rights and their tangible effects on Nordic copyright.

In Session III we will assess what is actually harmonised at EU level, especially in light of CJEU case-law relating to exclusive rights and their limitations. What significance is to be attached to older statements in preparatory works, case law and legal theory? Phenomena such as performance and communication to the public and the distinction between them, reproduction, exhibition and dissemination here appear against a background of doctrines long recognised and established in the Nordic countries. For example, what is the meaning of "the public" today? A related matter is how the market, rights clearance and application of contracts may respond to modified approaches.

When it comes to limitations, we shall examine what scope exists for them at national level, whether they are in fact optional, and what latitude there may be to not exploit the full scope of an EU directive. The importance of the three-step test will also be touched upon in this session.

This is followed up naturally in Session IV, which looks at the effects of EU law on areas not directly regulated by directives or regulations, such as adaptations, moral rights, the so-called complementary rule, contractual issues, etc. Can EU law, more indirectly, have an impact here as well?

Session V aims to bring some concretion to all the issues addressed by the symposium, by studying the DSM Directive's realisation in the Nordic countries. Are contractual licences spared or limited? Are impacts felt in other areas, e.g. the domain of contract law? What degree of harmonisation is to be expected? What national discretion do Member States have as to how to implement the Directive? What should the Nordic countries choose to apply, as and where the DSM Directive gives this option? Are the Nordic countries coordinating their activities?

A closing Session VI, in the form of a discussion, aims to sum up the insights and learning gained during the symposium.