HomeInsightsEU copyright reforms: European Visual Artists comments on European Commission’s proposals to reform copyright.

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EVA says that the Commission’s proposal to modernise copyright in the Digital Single Market shows that the institution “listened to authors and their representatives and has taken their concerns into account”.  It is “an important step in the right direction for a more balanced situation allowing more access to works and ensuring that authors are sharing in profits made in the digital economy”, the organisation says.

EVA acknowledges that the three new exceptions on text and data mining, distance learning and preservation of cultural heritage have been drafted and says that their effect in practice needs to be analysed.  EVA will advise on how to ensure that authors’ incomes are not prejudiced.

However, EVA noted “with disappointment” that the Commission did not address the negative consequences both for authors and cultural heritage institutions caused by recent Court of Justice of the European Union judgments on the right of “making available”.  Cultural heritage institutions face difficulties in obtaining, and authors have problems with granting, licenses for internet use as long as framing and/or similar acts of hyperlinking are not understood as independent copyright-relevant acts, EVA says.  References to previous acts of making available “should always qualify as new acts of making available when they are appropriating the works and its inherent value”, it says.

EVA welcomes the Commission’s decision not to interfere with the optional panorama exception.  It is pleased that the Commission has declined to “legislate unnecessarily in an area where no problems require such action and would only lead to further weaken visual authors’ competences to make a living out of their works”.

EVA welcomes the Commission’s recognition that collective management is an efficient means to solve legal questions over the use of works by cultural heritage institutions.  Collective management should also be applied in order to close the value gap, EVA says.

EVA also welcomes the Commission’s recognition of the lack of legislation supporting authors, illustrators, photographers and designers when it comes to electronic commerce.  However, it fears that the elements of transparency, adaptation of contractual conditions and dispute settlement are not enough to achieve the goal. Guaranteed remuneration rights and time limits on the transfer of contractual rights are also needed, EVA says.  Guaranteed remuneration managed by collective management would be “a useful and efficient means to ensure the authors rights”.  To read EVA’s press release in full, click here.

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