EU is going to reform copyright

    On December 5, 2012, the College of Commissioners of the European Union held a coordinating meeting on the issue of “content in the digital economy”. The issue was proposed for consideration by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. A preliminary thesis by Mr. Barroso ( DOC ) refers to the need to revise European copyright law.

    Noting that copyright is a universal mechanism providing remuneration to the creator of the content, the document speaks of increasing dissatisfaction with the current situation both from ordinary citizens and from the business side.

    The current legislation on copyright can impede the development of new business models and unduly restrict the rights of ordinary citizens to access and use content. Both consumers and businesses agree that copyright laws should become more flexible. The prevalence of such views was one of the main reasons for refusing to participate in the ACTA. The growing number of Pirate Party adherents in EU member states is also a clear indicator of a new trend.

    Thus, Mr. Barroso concludes, the time has come for the College to come to an agreement on the areas of work on copyright legislation. The Council of Europe also notes the need to modernize legislation in this area.

    Following the meeting, a brief press release was issued in which the European Commission announced the upcoming creation of a modern package of documents in the field of copyright. The final press release ( PDF ) was released on December 18, describing in more detail the plans of the European Commission.

    The planned package of documents is intended both to protect the interests of copyright holders by ensuring the flow of funds for the production of new content, and to create all the necessary conditions for the development of art, culture and innovation, increase the amount of legally available content, allow new business models to appear and develop, as well as more efficiently fight piracy.

    The European Commission will work in two directions.

    In 2013, a stakeholder dialogue mechanism will be launched to address as quickly as possible the six most pressing issues related to cross-border access to content, user generated content, analysis and data collection, copying of materials for personal use, as well as access to audiovisual materials and cultural objects heritage. The dialogue aims to identify the potential opportunities and limitations of existing legislative mechanisms and law enforcement practices in the field of digital technologies.

    In parallel, the Commission will conduct a study of the existing EU regulatory framework, carry out the necessary marketing research and risk assessment, which will make it possible by 2014 to resolve the need for a comprehensive reform of European copyright law.

    The steps taken by the European Commission in the field of copyright reform are one of the stages in the implementation of the so-called Digital Agenda , a strategy for developing information technologies in the EU and creating a single digital market.

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