Friday 6 December 2013

EC consults on copyright

The European Commission has launched a public consultation as part of its on-going efforts to review and modernise EU copyright rules.

Set in the context of an introduction that says "Over the last two decades, digital technology and the Internet have reshaped the ways in which content is created, distributed, and accessed. New opportunities have materialised for  those that create and produce content (e.g. a film, a novel, a song), for new and existing  distribution platforms, for institutions such as libraries, for activities such as research and for  citizens who now expect to be able to access content – for information, education or  entertainment purposes – regardless of geographical borders The Review of the EU Copyright Rules invites stakeholders to share their views on areas identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market including territoriality in the Single Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age; fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement while underpinning its legitimacy in the wider context of copyright reform.

The Review says this as a backdrop: "The "Licences for Europe" process has been finalised now. The Commission welcomes the practical solutions stakeholders have put forward in this context and will monitor their progress. Pledges have been made by stakeholders in all four Working Groups (cross border portability of services, user-generated content, audiovisual and film heritage and text and data mining). Taken together, the Commission expects these pledges to be a further step in making the user environment easier in many different situations. The Commission also takes note of  the fact that two groups – user-generated content and text and data mining – did not reach consensus among participating stakeholders on either the problems to be addressed or on the results. The discussions and results of "Licences for Europe" will be also taken into account in the context of the review of the legislative framework."

As part of the review process, the Commission is now launching a public consultation on 
issues identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market, i.e.: 
"territoriality in the Internal Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright 
in the digital age; fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the 
effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement while underpinning its legitimacy in the wider 
context of copyright reform". As highlighted in the October 2013 European Council Conclusions  "Providing digital services and content across the single market requires the 
establishment of a copyright regime for the digital age. The Commission will therefore 
complete its on-going review of the EU copyright framework in spring 2014. It is important to 
modernise Europe's copyright regime and facilitate licensing, while ensuring a high level 
protection of intellectual property rights and taking into account cultural diversity"

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said his vision of copyright was of a modern and effective tool that supports creation and innovation, enables access to quality content, including across borders, encourages investment and strengthens cultural diversity saying “Our EU copyright policy must keep up with the times".

So there you have it: Interested parties have till the 5th February 2014 to reply. Eleonora has posted another interesting blog on the IPKat titled A closer look at the public consultation on the review of EU copyright rules and that is well worth a read.

Responses to the review need to be in the format of a pdf file emailed to DG Internal Market and Services and the email address listed is

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