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Licences for Europe: Request to broaden the discussions

10 April, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Licences for Europe: Die Diskussion muss breiter werden


In December 2012, the European Commission announced a stakeholder dialogue to discuss innovative solution to improve cross-border access to online content. The stated aim of the initiative was to work with stakeholders on modernising copyright while the Commission theoretically would also look at the functioning of the legal framework.

Since its launch on 4 February 2013, the stakeholder dialogue (Licences for Europe) has been heavily criticised for restricting the scope of discussion to contractual solutions without any public discussion of the current legal framework. The Commission has already received letters from stakeholder groups requesting improvements in the "Licences for Europe" process. There are widespread concerns, most particularly in relation to text and data mining and user generated content. The problems have been caused by the legal framework, so it is quite obviously absurd to ban discussions on this topic.

In a joint letter sent on 8 April 2013 to Vice-President Kroes, Commissioner Vassiliou and Commissioner Barnier, EDRi and EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations) requested the broadening of the scope of discussion for working group 1 on cross-border access and service portability. The letter alerts the Commissioners that the process is unlikely to solve the issues at stake if it restricts itself to contractual and technological solutions. The stakeholders should be able to discuss all factors that create barriers and that can explain the lack of choice and availability of content in the European Union. The letter strongly urges the Commission to broaden the scope of the discussion, without breaking the working group into different parts (based on a sectoral approach). The first task should be to identify the main restrictions and the reasons for their existence, to allow a fruitful debate on the solutions to allow greater access to content.

Letter sent by EDRi and EBLIDA (8.04.2013)
http://edri.org/files/Licences-for-EuropeWG1_letter_EDRi-EBLIDA.pdf

Commission agrees way forward for modernising copyright in the digital economy (5.12.2012)
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-950_en.htm?locale=en

Press release of the European Commission on Licences for Europe
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1394_en.htm

“It´s about more copyright, stupid!” (07.04.2013)
http://tacd-ip.org/archives/907

The EU Commission's Outrageous Attempt to Avoid Copyright Reform (4.02.2013)
http://www.laquadrature.net/en/the-eu-commissions-outrageous-attempt-t...

EDRi-gram: ENDitorial: Licences for Europe and fight club... only one rule (13.03.2013)
http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number11.3/licences-for-europe-fight-club

Letter sent to the Commissioners requesting fairness in the discussion during the stakeholders' dialogue (28.02.2013)
http://www.copyright4creativity.eu/Public/C4CLetterEuropeanCommissione...

Letter on Working Group 2 (User-Generated Content)
(28.02.2013) http://edri.org/files/l4e_wg2.pdf

Letter on Working Group 4 on data and text mining (26.02.2013)
http://www.libereurope.eu/news/licences-for-europe-a-stakeholder-dialo...

(Contribution by Marie Humeau - EDRi)

 

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