CJEU’s interpretative enterprise on copyright law issues has been inaugurated in 2015 with the decision of 15 January 2015 in the case Ryan air Ltd v PR Aviation BV (Case C‑30/14). The preliminary reference concerned a not particularly popular domain of the copyright law arsenal, the interpretation and the possible application of certain provisions of the Directive 96/9 on the legal protection of databases.
Open and closed lists of categories of works
In the continental author’s right tradition there is no exhaustive list of protected works of mind, because the principle is clear : every kind of work can be protected regardless of
the merit or the aesthetic value of the work. According to this basic
principle, any kind of discrimination among the works of mind is
forbidden. Utilitarian works or works with primarily informative
character, such as works created by journalists, can be protected too. For example, a timetable, the menu of a
restaurant, even a pornographic film can be protected, if they are
original. The film of last Canne’s festival winner can be granted the
same protection as a software or a tv guide.
For the protection of works of journalists in French copyright law see my article: Les
droits d’auteur des journalistes
On the contrary in the common law tradition there is a closed, exhaustive list of categories of protected works. If a work does not fit in the list, it is not protected. See for ex,ample, from the UK the Creation Records Ltd. v News Group case (1997).
For the concept of work in European copyright law see: T. Synodinou, “The foundations of the concept of work in European Copyright Law” in: Synodinou (ed.), “Codification of European Copyright, Challenges and perspectives, the Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2012, p. 93-113.