Differences per country

Although one of the aims of the ‘Directive on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society’ was to achieve harmony in legislation, there are still major differences in copyright in the various European member states.

There are also important differences between Europe and the United States. The law (of which country) that is applicable is always stated when concluding a contract. It is important to pay attention to this, as it can have consequences for the agreements that have been made.

Four examples of essential differences in legislation between countries as far as copyright are concerned are shown below: 
1. The use of a work by an education institution in the United States differs from the arrangement in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands the Dutch Copyright Act stipulates when and the conditions under which material can be used in education. The US on the other hand uses the fair use principle. Whether or not fair use is involved is determined on a case by case basis using four criteria.

2. Continental countries place a strong emphasis on the moral rights of a creator. They believe it to be extremely important. This is not the case in Anglo Saxon countries, for instance.

3. In the Netherlands there is a distinction between moral rights and exploitation rights. This is arranged under various sections in the Dutch Copyright Act. German legislation intertwines the exploitation and moral rights. Copyright cannot be assigned there either. Exploitation rights (Nutzungsrechten) can be licensed there however.

4. Where we have neighbouring rights in Europe, they are considered to be copyright in the US. In the US this means that a producer of audio, for instance, has more legal options to take action in the event of misuse.

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