Copyright modernisation – an update on the EU plans

The question of whether or not EU copyright laws need to be modernised has kept EU institutions busy this year. At the end of 2012, the Commission launched twin initiatives. On the one hand a discussion forum called Licences for Europe was opened with the aim of identifying practical, industry-led solutions to problems of content delivery in Europe (quick fixes for which no legislation is needed). On the other hand, the Commission started an internal review of all EU copyright-related laws to see whether some needed to be updated.  The results of both initiatives should be announced by the end of this year or early in 2014. Our view is that it is crucial to take all the necessary time and effort to analyse the reasons for, and likely implications of any change in copyright law, as it is the backbone of how artists make a living. Below are the next steps of the modernisation effort we can expect in the coming months:

  • 24-25 October: European heads of state to discuss copyright reform at EU summit dedicated to the digital economy
  • Mid-November: launch of a public consultation by the European Commission, possibly to be accompanied by the Commission’s initial findings on its review of the EU legal framework on copyright
  • 13 November: presentation of the results of the Licences for Europe initiative
  • Mid-January: consultation closes
  • March 2014: Final Commission conclusions to be discussed by the College of Commissioners and decision on whether new legislative proposals are necessary