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Now is the time to fix copyright!

Am 17. Februar 2015 - 21:18 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In her article published on The Digital Post, Caroline de Cock, Coordinator of the Copyright4Creativity (C4C) Coalition, claims that now is the time to fix European copyright law. And she is right.

De Cock maintains the current copyright framework feels "absurd, not of this time, incomprehensible". Most of the applicable laws date back to the year 2001, when the EU Copyright Directive ("Infosoc") was adopted. A time, de Cock describes as "Pre-YouTube, Twitter, pre-pretty much everything we consider a given today". That is why we need a modern copyright law that is fit for the 21st century.

Researchers, educational institutions and libraries stumble trying to fulfil their public mission, as they discover  new research tools and new digital methods to give access to  and preserve culture, but are unable to use them in light of the current copyright framework. The digitisation of newspapers is just one of the many problems she mentions. And this is by far not the only situation where the current copyright rules don't make  sense.

Although Caroline de Cock admits that there is no "magic recipe", the Copyright4Creativity Manifesto identifies four key elements that need to be addressed:

1. A Copyright review that simplifies and modernizes the rules., brings them into line with today’s reality and entails a flexible norm that allows to cope with future evolutions;

2. Increased harmonization based on a mandatory list of limitations and exceptions, that enables both users and businesses to understand their rights and obligations across the EU;

3. A shortening of the protection term that does not extend beyond what international treaties require, as well as a faster transfer to the public domain; and,

4. A review of the implementation and enforcement of copyright rules, based on demonstrated harm and the rule of law, including an in-depth re-assessment of private copy levies and the preservation of intermediary liability rules.

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