October 31, 2016
As reported on 14 September 2016, the European Commission published draft legislation aimed at modernising the European copyright framework. This legislation includes:
- a draft Regulation and Directive implementing the Marrakesh Treaty for the benefit of visually impaired people. This is intended to ensure that people who are visually impaired or otherwise print disabled are better able to access copyright content in accessible formats;
- a draft Regulation on the exercise of copyright and related rights in certain online transmissions by broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes; and
- a draft copyright Directive covering a range of measures aimed at:
- adapting exceptions and limitations to the digital and cross-border environment;
- ensuring wider access to copyright content; and
- achieving a well-functioning marketplace for copyright.
The Commission press release said that digital technologies were “changing the way music, films, TV, radio, books and the press are produced, distributed and accessed”, and that new online services, such as music streaming, video-on-demand platforms and news aggregators, had become very popular. Further, consumers increasingly expected to access cultural content on the move and across borders.
According to the Commission, this “new digital landscape” would “create opportunities for European creators as long as the rules offer legal certainty and clarity to all players”. Therefore, as a key part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission said that it had adopted proposals to allow:
- better choice and access to content online and across borders;
- improved copyright rules on education, research, cultural heritage and inclusion of disabled people; and
- fairer and sustainable marketplace for creators, the creative industries and the press.
The UK Government is now seeking views on the draft legislation to ensure that it delivers the best outcomes for all those affected by the measures. It says that it would welcome views on the costs and benefits of the proposals, and suggestions for how the language of the proposed legislation can be improved. It would also welcome views on the possible impacts the legislation may have in light of the UK’s planned exit from the EU.
Any views should be supported by evidence that is open and transparent in its approach and methodology. The call for views closes on 6 December 2016. For information on how to respond and for links to the Commission’s proposals, click here.