12 Feb 2015

Open Industry Statement on MEP Reda's Report on the Implementation of the Copyright Directive

Open Industry Statement on MEP Reda's Report on the Implementation of the Copyright Directive

The association signatories to this statement have read MEP Reda’s draft report on the implementation of the Copyright Directive with interest and welcome the balanced positions MEP Reda has expressed in the report. The report focuses on creating a copyright environment that is future-proof for Europe and we believe it is essential to strike the right balance between protecting intellectual property and not adding any unreasonable burdens or expectations that may hinder the growth and development of the European digital sectors.

The report points out some of the shortcomings of the current European copyright framework that need to be adapted to the digital age. We support a copyright framework that emphasises greater harmonisation towards realising a digital single market for Europe, but see further harmonisation assessed on a case by case basis, taking into account the resulting impact on the internal market, fundamental rights and public interest.

We furthermore welcome the report’s forward-looking policy suggestions. Copyright law needs to function as an enabler of innovation and growth and needs to be in-line with the vibrant and fast-changing digital economy. It should be a key element of building a truly digital single market enabling entrepreneurs to benefit of a more considerable market scale and greater legal certainty.

Equally, as stressed in report, basic online activities like the ability to freely link to publicly available material need to be preserved, and as the report calls for a more modern framework, it should also look for solutions to archaic anomalies of the current rules, such as copyright levies.

We look to the report to further establish that copyright rules should not impede automated analytical tools like Text and Data Mining, as facts and ideas cannot be protected by copyright. Enabling innovation and technological progress must be a key objective of copyright policy.

Last but not least MEP Reda’s report implicitly recognises that Europe’s copyright rules will increasingly compete with the legal regimes of other countries and regions at a global level as the digital world is not confined by borders.

We believe that MEP Reda’s draft report is a good first step and hope that it will help to inform the debate within the European Commission as it sets out to prepare a copyright reform.

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