A Copyright Gambit

On the Need for Exclusive Rights in Digitised Versions of Public Domain Textual Materials in Europe

  • Sunimal Mendis

Part of the Munich Studies on Innovation and Competition book series (MSIC, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Sunimal Mendis
    Pages 1-27
  3. Sunimal Mendis
    Pages 29-37
  4. Sunimal Mendis
    Pages 195-223
  5. Sunimal Mendis
    Pages 225-268
  6. Sunimal Mendis
    Pages 269-272
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 273-294

About this book


European memory institutions are repositories of a wealth of rare documents that record public domain content. These documents are often stored in ‘dark-archives’ to which members of the public are granted limited access, resulting in the public domain content recorded therein being relegated to a form of ‘forgotten-knowledge’. Digitisation offers a means by which such public domain content can be made speedily and easily accessible to users around the world. For this reason, it has been hailed as the harbinger of a new ‘digital renaissance’. 

This book examines the topical issue of the need to preserve exclusivity over digitised versions of rare documents recording public domain content. Based on data gathered through an empirical survey of digitisation projects undertaken by fourteen memory institutions in five European Union Member States, it argues for the introduction of exclusive rights in digitised versions of rare documents recording public domain textual content as a means of incentivising private-sector investment in the digitisation process. It concludes by presenting a detailed proposal for a European Union Regulation that would grant memory institutions a limited-term related right in digitised versions of rare documents held in their collections subject to stringent exceptions and limitations that are designed to safeguard user interests.   


Copyright Related rights Exclusivity Public domain Digitization Memory institutions Rare documents Copyfraud Cultural heritage Public sector information PSI

Authors and affiliations

  • Sunimal Mendis
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Innovation and CompetitionMunichGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-662-59453-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-59454-4
  • Series Print ISSN 2199-7462
  • Series Online ISSN 2199-7470
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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