Intellectual property law and copyright regulation represent strong determining influences on the practice of digital preservation, and it is essential to comprehend clearly not only what the law requires, but also to develop mitigation strategies in response to the legal risks involved in any proposed digital preservation activity. Accomplishing this is far from easy, not least because European IPR and Copyright legislation exhibits a lack of consistency within individual national legislative frameworks, as well as between different member states of the EU. Key terms, such as “multimedia work” are understood differently across Europe, and the European Community framework which is meant to provide the basis of a harmonized legal landscape, is by no means implemented evenly across the EU. There is a tendency for national legislation to be both more permissive than Community law, and for it to provide a greater degree of detailed governance. More importantly, some relatively liberal practices which are supported by national regulation are, in certain key areas, almost certainly incompatible with Community law.