What is the problem?
Online there are new ways of providing, creating and distributing content, and new ways to generate value. The emergence of new business models that use the internet to deliver content represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the creative industries, authors and artists. The nature of activities of non-commercial users of copyrighted works (heritage institutions, researchers) is also changing rapidly. Yet copyright framework and licensing practices are not keeping up with these developments.
Why is EU action required?
The digital economy has been a major driver of growth in the past two decades, and is expected to grow seven times faster than overall EU GDP in coming years. The aim of the European Commission is to ensure that copyright and licensing stay fit for purpose in this new digital context.
What has the Commission done so far?
On 18 December 2012 the Commission adopted a Communication "on Content in the Digital Single Market". It sets out two parallel tracks of action.
A structured stakeholder dialogue, "Licences for Europe" has been established, with the aim to deliver rapid progress to bringing content online through practical industry-led solutions in these 4 areas: (i) cross-border access and the portability of services; (ii) user-generated content and licensing for small-scale users; (iii) online accessibility of films in the EU; and (iv) promoting efficient text and data mining for scientific research purposes.
What will the Commission do?
In parallel, the Commission is working on the completion of the on-going review of the EU copyright framework, based on market studies and impact assessment and legal drafting work, with a view to a decision in 2014 whether to table the resulting legislative reform proposals.