Copyright in the Digital World



Advances in technology in recent years mean that online and other digital content, including copyright-protected works, can be shared, linked to, downloaded and extracted in a multitude of different ways, more easily than ever before.

This causes significant challenges to traditional copyright principles as the established rights which copyright protects – such as copying, distributing and communicating to the public – can have unforeseen consequences in the digital world. The lack of traditional jurisdictional boundaries on the internet also raises questions as to where an online infringer should or could be pursued.

The courts and legislators of England and Wales and the European Union are continuing to grapple with this area and whilst recent changes have brought clarity on some issues, the list of unanswered questions continues to grow.

A comprehensive account of the law in this area is beyond the scope of this chapter, but we hope to provide an insight into some of the key recent decisions and their implications.

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This article appeared in the 2015 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Copyright; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.