The European Commission moves to modernise copyright


Following a meeting of the European Commission College of Commissioners on copyright,  the Commission has announced immediate plans to address six areas where progress is needed.  They include cross-border portability of content, user-generated content, data and text-mining, private copy levies, access to audio-visual works and cultural heritage.   

A structured dialogue via stakeholder consultations and impact assessments will be launched in early 2013 which, when completed, will allow the Commission to take stock and propose new initiatives. The Commission will also look at other issues such as territoriality in the Internal market, agreeing appropriate levels of harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright, and how to improve the legitimacy of enforcement in the context of wider copyright reform with a view to a decision in 2014 on whether to table legislative reform proposals.   

A task force comprising Commissioners Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) will be established to deal with all Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) issues as part of this process. 

“Copyright should remain a modern and effective tool to support creators and allow for innovation,” said ICMP Director General, Ger Hatton. “We are pleased that the Commission will engage in wide ranging stakeholder discussions to tease out any perceived issues with copyright prior to deciding a way forward.  Strong copyright foundations allow composers and authors to live from their work respecting the fundamental rights of both creators and rightsholders."   

The digital economy has been a major driver of growth in Europe over the past two decades, and is expected to grow seven times faster than overall EU GDP in the coming years.

The original discussion paper for the debate can be found here: