The EU Treaties do not grant the EU a specific competence to intervene in the field of copyright. The competence of the EU to act in the field of copyright has so far been primarily based on the need to build an internal market. The problem of attaching the harmonisation of copyright to internal-market needs, however, is that the concept of ‘internal market’ does not give normative guidance regarding the substantive content of EU action. This article aims to conceptualise the competence of the EU in copyright lawmaking. For that purpose, it analyses the EU’s legal basis for action and suggests that certain factors can influence the exercise of its competence. These factors contribute to a clarification of the division of powers between the EU and the Member States, and provide a better definition of how the EU should proceed in its actions. As a result of these factors, the normative guidance absent from the main competence norms can be provided, and a few limits can also be imposed upon EU action.
Ramalho, Ana, Conceptualising the European Union’s Competence in Copyright: What Can the EU Do? (2014). International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 2014-2, 178.