85458 - Digital Copyright and Related Rights (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the main legal principles - as well as the basic national, EU or international provisions - on copyright and related rights in the digital environment. The student is able to understand how to basically deal with lawful ownership and licensing of copyrighted digital subject-matter.

Course contents

The course is divided into two different but complementary parts. The first part of the course (corresponding to the first 5 classes) is devoted to the fundamental principles of copyright under the international and the EU legal framework. The second part (corresponding to the last 5 classes) is focuses on more specific aspects of the relationship between copyright law and digital technologies.


PART I: Understanding Copyright and Related Rights

Class 1: Introduction to copyright Law

Class 2: Protected subject-matter

Class 3: Content of copyright protection

Class 4: Limits, exceptions and limitations

Class 5: Ownership, exercise and transfer of copyright

PART II: Copyright and Digital Technologies in the EU context

Class 6: Copyright in the information society

Class 7: Legal protection of databases

Class 8: Orphan works and out-of-commerce works

Class 9: Digital libraries

Class 10: Artificial Intelligence and copyright law


For students not attending classes the study if the following text is mandatory:

- J. BLOMQVIST, Primer on International Copyright and Related Rights, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014.

For students attending classes, the relevant texts and materials will be indicated by the teacher during each class and subsequently uploaded on the institutional repository of the University of Bologna.

Teaching methods

The course is articulated into lectures in which the teacher will illustrate the fundamental legal principles, also commenting on the relevant legislation and case law, and discussing them with the students.

Due to the technical nature of the subject-matter and the specific legal lexicon, frequency, despite not being mandatory, is strongly advised.

Assessment methods

For both attending and non-attending students, the exam takes place in oral form, and consists of 3-4 open questions on the entire program.

The evaluation of the exam will be carried out taking into account the knowledge of the institutes of intellectual property, the ability to analyze the different interpretative guidelines, the ability to make connections between the different parts of the program, the ability to develop critical arguments, the articulation of exposure, the exposure accuracy.

To register for the appeals students need to use the AlmaEsami system. Late registrations (compared to the terms indicated on AlmaEsami) and / or off-list are not allowed.

Only for the first exam following the end of the course, attending students (i.e. students attending at least 75% of the classes) who have the course included in the learning plan for the current academic year will have the chance to opt (in an entirely optional way) to take the exam in written form. In this case the exam will consist of a test of 30 closed-answer questions (multiple choice), with three possible alternative answers, one of which is correct. The mark is obtained by adding the number of correct answers. The exam is passed with at least 18 correct answers on 30 questions. In case of failure to pass the exam or refusal to accept the mark, the student will be required to take the oral exam on the entire program - and in the manner indicated above - in one of the subsequent exams.

Teaching tools

Students who, due to disability or specific learning disorders (DSA), need compensatory tools shall communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the relevant persons and agree on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Spedicato