On 14 September, the European Commission has published a set of proposals to review copyright rules at EU level. This ‘copyright package’ includes:
• A Communication on Promoting a fair, efficient and competitive European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market
• A Proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market
• A Proposal for a Regulation on the rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes
• A Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled
• A Proposal for a Regulation on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled
In a comment, Olav Stokkmo, Chief Executive of IFRRO, welcomed the publication of the copyright package by the European Commission after three years of intensive work and a series of consultations and Commission facts and information gathering.
“Collective management of rights plays an important role in ensuring that authors and publishers are fairly paid, whilst providing easy legal user access to copyright works. Education and research are among the main users of the services of RROs, the collective management organisations in the publishing sector. I am pleased to see that the Commission has addressed the right of both authors and publishers to be remunerated for the use of their works. This is a fundamental basis for the collective management by RROs in the print sector.
Also, any solution to make Out-of-commerce works available must be built on agreements with stakeholders, as reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding, which has been signed by the European library, authors and publishers associations and IFRRO, co-signed also by the Commissioner.
We are looking forward to further contributing in order to achieve best possible solutions, which foster the creative and publishing sector – as Mr Juncker rightly said it in his State of the Union speech today, “the creation of content is not a hobby, it is a profession”, and it therefore needs full protection for it to continue to flourish. Protection involves the right for authors and publishers to be remunerated for the use of their works. This is best achieved through agreements with authors and publishers directly, or with collective management organisations – RROs in the text and image sector.”
The Commission’s legislative proposals, together with an Impact Assessment on the modernisation of EU copyright rules, can be found here.