European Copyright Reform

By Alessandra Bellani and Alessandra Feller

On December 9 2015 the European Commission presented a proposal for European Copyright reform. The proposed framework, inspired by the European digital single market project, aims to provide European users with wider content and strengthen copyright protection, as well as ensure authors a fair remuneration.

The main pillars of this reform are the following:

Broaden access to creative content across the EU

The improvement of such cross-border access will be achieved through:

  • online distribution of TV and radio programs; and
  • the execution of licences in order to realize cross-border access to contents.

Exceptions to copyright rules for an innovative and inclusive society

The envisaged exceptions are:

  • supporting research and innovation through “text and data mining technologies”;
  • giving education priority (e.g., by supporting teachers who give online courses);
  • helping people with disabilities to access works; and
  • allowing the publishing of images of public places.

Creating a fairer marketplace

In order to increase legal certainty, transparency, and balance in the remuneration system in Europe, the Commission will elaborate a system through which the benefits deriving from the online use of copyright-protected works will be balanced with the fair sharing of the above-mentioned works and the remuneration of performers and authors.

Fighting piracy

The fight against piracy will be carried out by:

  • cutting the financial flows to businesses based on piracy; and
  • improving the enforcement of all types of intellectual property rights.

In order to realize the above pillars, the Commission will collaborate with all Member States with the purpose of guaranteeing a uniform and effective application of copyright legislation, which will be promoted through a single copyright code.

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