Reforms for the EU’s Information Society


It is a busy time, it seems, for European Union Copyright policy. In the (not-insubstantial) time since this blog was last updated, we’ve seen the European Parliament reject ACTA due to the unparalleled concerns (and participation of) of EU citizens, the adoption of the Orphan Works Directive, the announcement of the importance of intellectual property rights to the EU as a whole, and the proposal by the Commission that the EU adopt a harmonised approach to the breach of trade secrecy laws.

In December 2013, two more signs of renewed vigour in the field of copyright reform have appeared on the Commission’s website. The first is the request for information from interested stakeholders regarding the form, content and structure of ‘European’ copyright law, taking the form of a ‘Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules’. The Consultation is open until the 5th February 2014, and is inviting comments from right holders, copyright users, collective management organisations and individuals. Now would be the time for those who argue that their voice is never heard in European policy making to consider submitting their views. Be forewarned, the Consultation has 80 questions – although not all of these will be relevant to all contributors.

The second item is the recently released (and somewhat late, by the Commission’s original time-frame) Study on the application of the Information Society Directive and its appropriateness to the ‘economic and technological realities of digital markets’. The Commission notes that it is the first of a number of studies, all of which will presumably then feed into a Commission authored Report, and possible recommendation for reform of the Information Society Directive. The Study is a somewhat daunting 586 page document, but I will update this page with some more information regarding the content of the Study once I’ve finished reading it.

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