Copyright

EC publishes the report on the responses to Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules

The European Commission (EC) has published the report on the responses to Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules.

The public consultation has generated broad interest with more than 9500 replies to the consultation document and a total of more than 11000 messages, including questions and comments, sent to the Commission’s dedicated email address. Replies were received from a wide range of stakeholders including users, consumers, right holders, industry, collective management organisations and governments.

The report is available here; for more information, please click here.

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New report: Assessing the economic impacts of adapting certain limitations and exceptions to copyright and related rights in the EU

A new report entitled “Assessing the economic impacts of adapting certain limitations and exceptions to copyright and related rights in the EU” has just been published. This report is part of a study, commissioned by the European Commission, that “aims at assessing determined changes in European copyright law, with a focus on exceptions and limitations to copyright, as a response to technological advances”.

This document focuses in particular on:

  • Digital preservation by cultural heritage and educational institutions;
  • The provision of remote access by cultural heritage and educational institutions to their collections for the benefit of their patrons;
  • E-lending by publicly accessible libraries;
  • Text and data mining for the purpose of scientific research;
  • Reproductions made by natural persons for private uses.

To read this report, please click here.

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New UK copyright exceptions entered into force

The UK government is making a series of small but important changes to make it better suited for the digital age. These changes will affect how content like books, music, films and photographs can be used. They will also introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. Protections for the interests of copyright owners and creators are built in to the proposed changes.

The Public Administration, Disability, and Research, Education, Libraries & Archives statutory instruments have now been approved by parliament and come into force on 1 June 2014. The personal copies for private use and quotation & parody statutory instruments are still under discussion and will be implemented as soon as the parliamentary cycle is terminated.

For more information, please click here.

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New Helpline case

The Helpline has published a new example case on databases, which is available here.

These publications allow you to have an idea of the types of question that our Helpline receives, as well as to see examples of answers sent. You can have a look on all the Helpline's cases here.

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Directive on collective management of copyright

The European Union has adopted a Directive 2014/26/EU on collective rights management and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses. The Directive aims at ensuring that rights holders have a say in the management of their rights and envisages a better functioning of collective management organisations as a result of EU-wide standards. The new rules will also facilitate multi-territorial licensing by collective management organisations of authors’ rights in musical works for online use. The Commission will work closely with the Member States to achieve a correct transposition of the provisions of the Directive into national law by the transposition date of 10 April 2016.

To access the text please click here.

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Two new sample cases from our Helpline

We are pleased to inform you that two new sample cases have been published on our website. These anonymous cases are based on regular enquiries that the Helpline has dealt with. They address practical advice related to copyright and give an opportunity to take a closer look at the type of queries arriving at our Helpline and the results of the support provided.

The first one, IP on stage: can I protect an acting method?, discusses a company active in the theatrical sector, wondering how they could protect a method consisting of a new set of exercises and breathing techniques in order to prevent other companies or acting teachers from copying them and selling them as their own.

The second one, IP on the web: how can my website be protected?, describes a start-up active in the field of green technologies and which, in order to raise its visibility, is currently setting up its own company website which would be protected by intellectual property rights.

You can find more sample cases in the section dedicated to our Helpline.

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Report on ‘Standardisation in the Area of Innovation and Technological Development, Notably in the Field of Text and Data Mining’

Text and data mining (TDM) is an important technique for analysing and extracting new insights and knowledge from the exponentially increasing store of digital data (‘Big Data’). It is important to understand the extent to which the EU’s current legal framework encourages or obstructs this new form of research and to assess the scale of the economic issues at stake.

TDM represents a significant economic opportunity for Europe. At present, the use of TDM tools by researchers in Europe appears to be lower than in its main competitors. In the legal issues section a description is offered of the application of different intellectual property laws and the extent to which TDM in Europe is facilitated by any existing exceptions to either EU copyright or database law. The application of a copyright and database exception relating to teaching or scientific research is optional and has not been implemented at all in some Member States. This has contributed to uncertainty in the European scientific research community.

There is a serious risk that Europe’s relative competitive position as a research location for the exploitation of digital data will deteriorate further, if steps are not taken to address the issues discussed in this report prepared for the EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation by a Group of Experts.

The full report is available here.

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A new ruling on copyright levies: DIGITALEUROPE’s position

Last week the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgement bringing some clarity to the system of copyright levies in the European Union (ACI Adam case C-435/12), which is available here.

According to the European Commission, a 'copying levy' is a form of compensation for rightholders based on the premise that an act of private copying cannot be licensed for practical purposes and thus causes economic harm to the relevant rightholders. Copyright levies are therefore applied to recording equipment or media used by consumers to make home copies.

DIGITALEUROPE, an European association comprising among others several EU trade associations in the digital sector, has welcomed this judgement. To read in detail the position of DIGITALEUROPE, please click here. To learn about the European Commission’s initiatives concerning copyright levies in recent years, click here.

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Council adopts directive on copyright and access to online music

Last week the Council adopted a new directive that “aims to improve management of copyright and cross-border licensing of online music. Instead of having to obtain a copyright license in every EU member state, online retailers and music streaming services will be able to get them from collective management organisations working across borders.” With this new directive, it is expected that European consumers will gain access to a wider variety of creative content.

Once the directive enters into force, member states will have 2 years to incorporate it into national law.

To read the Council press release, please click here. Further information on the new directive is available here.

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Copyright: cross-border licences for online music services

This week the European Parliament approved new rules on music copyright with the goal of making it easier “for online providers to get licences to stream music in more than one EU country”. These rules will not only ensure that the rights of artists are well protected, preserving cultural diversity in the EU, but also stimulate the creation of new online music services available for consumers.

This new legislative framework still requires the approval of the Council. Once this approval is achieved, the EU member states will have 2 years to incorporate the rules into their national law.

For further information, please click here. For details of the new rules, click here.

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