Right of Access under GDPR and Copyright

Angela Sobolčiaková


The paper discusses the right to obtain a copy of personal data based on the access right guaranteed in Articles 15 (3) and limited in 15 (4) of the GDPR. Main question is to what extent, the access right provided to data subject under the data protection rules is compatible with copyright. We argue that the subject matter of Article 15 (3) of the GDPR - copy of personal data – may infringe copyright protection of third parties but not a copyright protection attributed to the data controllers.

Firstly, because the right of access and copyright may be in certain circumstances incompatible. Secondly, the data controllers are primarily responsible for balancing conflicting rights and neutral balancing exercise could only be applied by the Data Protection Authorities. Thirdly, the case law of the CJEU regarding this issue will need to be developed because the copy as a result of access right may be considered as a new element in data protection law.


Balancing of Interests and Rights; Computer Program Directive; Copy of the Personal Data Undergoing Processing; Copyright; Database Directive; Data Controller; Data Protection Directive; Data Subject; General Data Protection Regulation; Right of Access

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