Digital Copyright Law

2 ECTS / 12h / English

The face of copyright law and policy changes continuously, mostly due to the constant evolution of the digital networked environment and the legislative initiatives at the international and European level. The vast reach of copyright in the online environment means that copyright law plays a crucial role in regulating new technologies, from popular online platforms to the generative AI tools we use every day. This course will address challenges of modern copyright law, as it applies to the digital environment.

The aim of the course is to lead students to acquire in-depth knowledge and comprehension of the protection of digital copyright law, with an emphasis on EU law. This includes the ability to apply, analyse, synthetise, and evaluate the relevant materials. For that purpose, we will examine different International, European and in some select cases US instruments in the field of copyright law, as well as the relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (and, occasionally, of Member States and US courts). These materials will be discussed against the background of one fundamental question: how can and should copyright law adapt to a rapidly changing social, economic and technological environment. In answering this question, students will be asked to critically reflect on the law’s application to new technologies, and its ability to shape their development.

This course will be divided into three parts:

  1. Introduction and concepts of digital copyright law
  2. The EU law of digital copyright
  3. Case studies on digital copyright law: (a) Generative AI tools: from ChatGPT to Midjourney, and (b) Online platforms: YouTube, Meta and TikTok


João Pedro Quintais is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. At IViR, he is also Director of the…