|Draft Report on the Implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society
|Reda, J., Draft Report on the Implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society, Committee on Legal Affairs, European Parliament (2014/2256(INI)).
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|About the Data
|Commission’s consultation on copyright, with more than 9,500 replies, 58.7% from end users.
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The purpose of Directive 2001/29/EC (the InfoSoc Directive)was the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. The InfoSoc Directive introduced minimum levels of copyright protection without setting standards for the protection of the public’s and users’ interests. As a consequence, the implementation of the InfoSoc Directive has not led to the EU-wide harmonisation of copyright sought by many parties. In particular, the optional nature of most copyright exceptions and limitations and the failure to limit the scope of protection of copyright and related rights to those outlined in the directive, has led to continuing fragmentation of national copyright laws among Member States. The Commission’s consultation on the copyright reform provides a thorough picture of the change of context of copyright in the digital age, and reveals the most pressing problems met by many stakeholders in their everyday usage of copyright.
Main Results of the Study
- The fragmentation of EU copyright law and the resulting lack of transparency are well understood by the Commission, and are reflected in the Commission’s intention to break down ‘national silos’ in copyright legislation. A particularly pressing issue in this regard is the optional nature of the exceptions and limitations to exclusive rights.
- One of the main objectives of the Digital Single Market should be removing territorial restrictions and encouraging pan-European accessibility of services. Such progress can be deemed integral and inherent to the notion of a Digital Single Market and is an important step towards fostering innovation and competitiveness of European businesses.
- However, the vast majority of end-user respondents report face problems when trying to access online services across the Member States, particularly where technological protection measures are used to enforce territorial restrictions.
- It is therefore necessary to develop a legal context that improves the negotiating position of creators in their contractual relationships, and to put in place pro-competitive measures, such as net neutrality and the encouragement of open formats.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- recommends that the EU legislator further lower the barriers to the re-use of public sector information by exempting works produced by the public sector – as part of the political, legal and administrative process – from copyright protection;
- calls on the Commission to safeguard public domain works, which are by definition not subject to copyright protection and should therefore be able to be used and re-used without technical or contractual barriers; also calls on the Commission to recognise the freedom of rightholders to voluntarily relinquish their rights and dedicate their works to the public domain;
- calls on the Commission to harmonise the term of protection of copyright to a duration that does not exceed the current international standards set out in the Berne Convention;
- Calls on the Commission to make mandatory all the exceptions and limitations referred to in Directive 2001/29/EC, to allow equal access to cultural diversity across borders within the internal market and to improve legal certainty;
- calls for the adoption of an open norm introducing flexibility in the interpretation of exceptions and limitations in certain special cases that do not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author or rightholder;
- urges the European legislator to ensure the technological neutrality and future-compatibility of exceptions and limitations;
Coverage of Study
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