Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Reform of EU copyright rules: your chance to give your views!

Of the issues people encounter online, few seem to be as visible or irritating as copyright.

I know this is an issue that many people encounter every day. I hear about problems all the time: from citizens unsure if they can upload their own wedding video to social networks, to scientists unable to carry out live-saving research using text-mining. It seems clear to me that there is a great opportunity from modernising the EU copyright framework to make it fit for an ever-changing digital world.

The EU has already acted in this area, agreeing two new important laws: a Directive on so-called "Orphan Works", and one on Collective Rights Management to support cross-border access to online music.

But we need to go further to remove the current obstacles, promote rapid digital developments and make copyright fit for the online age. In 2014 the Commission will review the EU's copyright rules. And we want your views on how to do that. So last month we launched a public consultation, open until 5 February 2014.

An effective, modern copyright system could play a significant role ensuring a vibrant single market for online content in Europe: not to mention supporting education, science and our economy. It also needs to stimulate innovation, and promote the production of new creative content.

I know there are many different views out there about copyright modernisation, and I hope we will hear from many different voices in our consultation.

I also know some are already contributing to this debate – or even supplying model answers. Well, I have made my views on this issue very clear in the past. But it’s not for me to say how you should reply.

On the other hand: am certain that you, the readers of this blog, will have some ideas – so I hope you will send them in! And remember, you have until 5 February to do so.

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