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The University of Southampton

LAWS6138 Global Trends in Copyright and Trademark Laws

Module Overview

To those interested in copyright law and policy these are incredibly challenging and exciting times. At the EU level, debate around further harmonisation and review of copyright rules has intensified over the past few years, and is very lively at the moment also on account of the activity (and activism) of the Court of Justice of the European Union. EU Member States like the UK are also busy reforming their own copyright laws, also to provide a legal environment that favours innovation and creativity. Reform proposals have been also tabled in a number of Asian countries (eg, Hong Kong and Singapore) and Australia, considering whether the approaches under US and EU laws should be also taken there.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The rules governing and the policy debate surrounding copyright law and policy;
  • The main issues and problems, as well as legislative, policy and judicial solutions, surrounding copyright law and policy;
  • The solutions envisaged in different jurisdictions and their critical analysis;
  • How different stakeholders (eg rightholders, users and consumers, internet service providers, trade bodies and governments) have different views on appropriate legal reform and development in this domain.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss legal and policy positions from a variety of sources and present these in concise written form;
  • Identify, analyse and critically evaluate a range of comparative national and supranational legal solutions and draw conclusions as to their respective efficiency;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the development of law in a novel and challenging domain which questions existing legal norms.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Undertake critical analysis of material;
  • clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas and arguments in writing.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • conduct legal research more effectively;
  • solve problems and undertake critical analysis of relevant legal issues more effectively;
  • search key online and offline IP legal resources more effectively.


The module follows a thematic approach around some principal issues in the domain of copyright, and reviews key developments and reform proposals advanced in a number of jurisdictions. More specifically, attention focuses on two major topics: (1) the scope of exclusive rights, including but not limited to the right of communication to the public in an online environment; and the right of distribution and the creation of second-hand markets for digital works; (2) exceptions and limitations, including debate around open-ended vs closed systems of exceptions and limitations; private copying; parody; and digitisation of library/archive collections.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Weekly seminars • Online materials with clickable links • A forum on Blackboard for the exchange of ideas and information Learning activities include: • Direct reading from a selection of primary and secondary materials followed by analysis of those materials • Presentation of prepared material in class and discussion of the issues raised • Analysis of online materials and embedded web links contained in seminar materials from the Blackboard online learning resource Preparation for and participation in weekly seminars will develop: • The knowledge required for satisfaction of ‘knowledge and understanding’ learning outcomes • Your ability to: (i) critically evaluate and assess the evolution and key debates surrounding copyright (ii) assess the nature of the various interests and rights at hand (iii) apply the rules studied to factual situations • transferable skills

Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Further essential reading materials will be provided during the course, well in advance of relevant sessions. 

Pila, J and Torremans, P (2016). European Intellectual Property Law. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (140 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (140 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Closed book Examination  (140 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For the printing of relevant sources and reference materials.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text as appropriate

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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