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Copyright and Neighbouring Rights

Commission urges industry to deliver innovative solutions for greater access to online content (18.12.2012)

See the Communication from the Commission on content in the Digital Single Market

Copyright and related rights provide an incentive for the creation of and investment in new works and other protected matter (music, films, print media, software, performances, broadcasts, etc.) and their exploitation, thereby contributing to improved competitiveness, employment and innovation. The field of copyright is associated with important cultural, social and technological aspects, all of which have to be taken into account in formulating policy in this field.

Copyright and the Single Market

There has been significant harmonisation of the substantive copyright law to reduce barriers to trade and to adjust the framework to new forms of exploitation. Common ground is also needed with respect to the rules on the enforcement of rights, i.e. on access to justice, sanctions and remedies regarding infringements.

In order to grasp the full potential of marketing intellectual property rights in the Single Market, complementary measures on the management and licensing of these rights may also prove necessary. The task of the European Commission is to enforce the “acquis” on copyright and related rights; to advance it further and to modernise and adapt it to new developments in technology or the markets concerned as this is an evolving scenario.

The economic impact of copyright

The copyright industries are critically important to the European Union because they involve media, cultural, and knowledge industries. Development in these industries is indicative of performance in post-industrial society especially where related to the information society.

The international aspects of copyright

The European Commission is also responsible for conducting negotiations on industrial and intellectual property within World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) (e.g. audiovisual, broadcasting, resale right, databases, etc.), for participating in the relevant WIPO General Assemblies, and for contributing to the work of other international fora on IPR related matters with a view to ensuring adequate protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) internationally.