The Topicality of Author's Rights in the Information Society

Property rights are once more found before the international scene. One year after the Conférence diplomatique de Genève which took place under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Commission has recognized its « proposition for the directive on the harmonization of certain aspects of author's rights and related rights in the information society ». A keystone of Community legislation in the area of intellectual property, this text gives, for the first time, a complete definition of the two major components of the author's rights, the right of reproduction and the right of communication to the public, and endeavours to adapt these to the new electronic environment. Is there still a need to underline at what point the definition of such rights is strategic as much for the holders as for the users? It governs the future methods of utilization of works on the network and designates the strength of relations between the different participants in the information society.