The European Community (EC) is comprised of independent European nation states who recognized that unification could yield competitive advantages in the international market. In an attempt to realize the benefits of an internal common market, the European Economic Community Treaty (EEC Treaty) was created to develop a general governing system for the individual nation states; however, intellectual property rights have not been specifically provided for in the EEC Treaty. As long as national copyright laws were not used to arbitrarily restrict or discriminate in trade between Member States, Article 36 of the EEC Treaty provided the protection granted by these laws. However, Article 36 will not tolerate "abusive exercise of copyright protection with the aim of creating barriers to the free movement of goods or hindering competition in the European Community."
Lynne K. Law, National Copyright Law v. Community Law: Which Law is Controlling in Intellectual Property Derivative Market Products?, 10 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 333 (1992).