Four Pillars to Modernize Copyright in the EU

Four Pillars to Modernize Copyright in the EU

The long-discussed Copyright review seems to gradually become a reality, as the Juncker Commission slowly rolls out its action plan to create a true digital single market for the EU, and as the European Parliament (EP) divulges its first findings on the matter through the publication of the draft Own-initiative Report on the evaluation of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC) by MEP Julia Reda today to the press, and on 20 January to the JURI Committee of the EP. With a diversity of stakeholders ranging from consumer associations to industry, from digital rights activists to universities, research centers and libraries and from national organisations to European ones, C4C believes that we are well placed to identify what the key cornerstones of a copyright review should be, in order for it to fit the legitimate expectations of the 21st century and to act as a true catalyst for innovation and creativity. Our Copyright Manifesto [DE; PL; FR; ES; NL] identifies four main flaws in the current system, and proposes manners in which to address them, namely:


The flaw: an outdated framework, based on a reality from 2001 that has long since changed The solution: a Copyright review that simplifies and modernizes the rules to bring them into line with today’s reality and comprises a flexible norm to cope with future evolutions


The flaw: a Directive that creates no harmonisation, hence weakening any attempt to truly distil a digital single market The solution: a harmonization based on a mandatory list of limitations and exceptions, that enables both users and businesses to understand their rights and obligations across the EU


The flaw: the duration of copyright protection is too long The solution: a shortening of duration that does not extend beyond what international treaties require and a faster transfer to the public domain


The flaw: a dysfunctional implementation and enforcement of the rules The solution: a review of the implementation and enforcement, based on demonstrated harm and the rule of law, including an in-depth reassessment of private copy levies and the preservation of intermediary liability rules

Copyright affects everyone in the EU, as evidenced by the massive number of responses to the Commission’s consultation. It is also perceived as being no longer fit-for-purpose by most stakeholders, except for those that benefit from the flaws of the current system. The tag line of our manifesto is hence the best way of summarizing what the EU’s philosophy should be the next year(s): ‘Now is the time to Fix Copyright!’ This view certainly seems shared by MEP Julia Reda, in her balanced Report. Up to her colleagues and Commissioners Ansip and Oettinger to follow suit. Other blogs on the Manifesto:

  • IPKat – BREAKING NEWS: Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda proposes major overhaul of EU copyright
  • Centrum Cyfrowe – Koalicja „C4C” publikuje „The Copyright Manifesto” [PL]
  • Faro – C4C presenteert manifest voor hervorming auteursrecht [NL]
  • EIFL C4C – a manifesto for change: Will 2015 be the year of European copyright reform?
  • Kennisland – Copyright 4 Creativity copyright manifesto
  • COMMUNIA – Copyright 4 Creativity releases copyright manifesto