Normative Forces in the European Court of Justice: Who is Steering Copyright Jurisprudence?

Martin Kretschmer (University of Glasgow, CREATe), Marcella Favale (Bournemouth University, Department of Law) & Paul Torremans, “Normative Forces in the European Court of Justice: Who is Steering Copyright Jurisprudence?”

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) interprets the meaning of EU legislation. Larger numbers of preliminary references to the Court on the same legal concepts suggest either a normative void, or greater attention from political forces, or both. However, the exact impact of the influence of political forces on the jurisprudential outcome is unknown. Taking copyright as a case-study, the paper examines all preliminary references to the ECJ registered between 1998 and 2015 regarding at least one of the directives of the copyright acquis. The study aims at understanding to what extent the participation of third-parties to copyright litigation is strategic, and in what direction these parties intend to steer copyright jurisprudence. Case documents are examined with a mixed research methodology including doctrinal, content (text) and statistical analysis, in order to measure empirically the impact of third party submissions on the legal interpretation of copyright concepts in the ECJ.