Monday 13 February 2012

Dutch aim to de-clog European copyright law

A Dutch professor and member of a Government committee on copyright has said that it wants to relax copyright laws that stop internet users and others using protected material to make ‘creative remixes’. Bernt Hugenholtz of the Dutch state committee on copyright law said “We all love YouTube" adding "Many of the videos we find there are creative remixes of material protected under copyright. They're mostly for laughs or political commentary, or they're simply absurd. If we applied the law today strictly, we would not be allowed to do these things". Hugenholtz went on to say "We all agree that it's good for creativity, good for laughs, and no one gets hurt. Copyright holders are not harmed, so it makes a lot of sense to allow this. But in Europe, where we do not have open norms like the fair use doctrine in the United States, we can't do these things without infringing the law."

Hugenholtz, copyright law professor at the University of Amsterdam, who reportedly says European copyright law is outdated because the exceptions it allows for the use of protected content do not take new technology into account, discussed his views with representatives of European governments, the entertainment industry, internet entrepreneurs, legal experts, EU representatives, journalists and librarians who were gathered in The Hague for the "Towards Flexible Copyright" conference organised by the Dutch government.

At the conference, Deputy Justice Minister Fred Teeven said he is exploring "a more flexible system of copyright exceptions that would also work in a European contex”.


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