Copyright in the Digital Age

Still the bedrock of creativity and the creative industries

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●     New EU Copyright Act takes another step

●     Filesharing highlights collision of free speech and copyright

●     Introduction to Collective Licensing seminars

●     Brexit and the realpolitik of trade agreements

●     Three post graduate bursaries in copyright

●     Orphan Works Database given user approval

●     Seven-year-olds given copyright lessons to curb online piracy

●     Why Europe’s New Copyright Proposals Are Bad News for the Internet

●     ‘EU copyright legislation will not change in UK after Brexit’ argues Kaye

●     EU copyright reform proposals “sensible” say publishers

●     Publishers stress importance of Robust Copyright Regime Post Brexit

●     Congratulations to Dr. Aislinn O’Connell

●     Fit for Change? Copyright for Publishers in the Digital Age – Abstract/Intro

●     Copyright thesis – Chapter 1 Literature Review

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 2 – A Historical investigation of copyright

●     Copyright Thesis Chapter 3 – Legal Investigation

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 4 – Blocking initiatives

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 5 – Copyright and the UK Economy

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 6 – The Hargreaves Exceptions

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 7 – Alternative approaches

●     Copyright thesis – Conclusions

●     Index, List of Abbreviations, Tables of Cases & Legislation, Bibliography, Appendices 1&2

●     World Book and Copyright Day

●     EU’s new action plan for copyright and digital platforms

●     Google News Leaves Spain

●     Exceptions impact on business: air your views on 20 October 2014

●     Last Copyright Exceptions Come Into Force Today

●     Copyright and the UK Economy

●     Copyright Briefing – July 14

●     Culture of the Public Domain – A Good Thing?

●     An Employment Focus on the Creative Industries

●     Copyright exceptions back on track

●     Exceptions Update

●     LBF14 – Day 2

●     LBF14 – Day 1

●     New Director for Copyright and Enforcement Speaks

●     Copyright and the Future of Global Content Industries

●     Commons Committee warns against diluting IP rights

●     CLSG Launch Report: Streamlining Copyright Licensing for the Digital Age

●     IPso FACTo debate at Stationers Company

●     Publishers Launch Global Exchange on Copyright

●     Funding given to kick-start Copyright Hub

●     IPO thoughts on copyright and the economic effects of parody

●     Modernising copyright – February 2013

●     Stationers and UCL in joint copyright research initiative for communications and content industries

●     Government publishes proposals for changes to UK copyright

●     Stationers offer bursary to copyright research student

●     Hooper recommends UK Copyright Hub

●     Copyright adds extra £3 billion to national accounts

●     Hargreaves warned on damaging UK creative industries

New EU Copyright Act takes another step

The final version of the controversial new EU copyright law was agreed on 14 February 2019 after three days of talks in France. UK Organisations representing the interests of rights holders have spent the last few years putting pressure on MEPs to support the draft Directive. As long ago as last July (2018) the British CopyRight Council (BRC) issued a statement which is an example of the many such statements. In it the BRC stated that the Directive sought “to make policy fit and fair for the digital era” and was “long overdue; the last update to EU copyright laws was in 2001 — three years before the launch of Facebook, four years before YouTube, five years before Twitter and still in an age when most people enjoyed books, music and pictures and other creative works in purely physical form.”

The Professional Publishers Association explains:  “The directive seeks to create a comprehensive framework where copyrighted material, copyright holders, publishers, providers and users can all benefit from clearer rules, adapted to the digital era. Importantly, it sets a precedent where tech giants such as Google will have to negotiate licensing agreements with rights holders in order to publish their content. 
“The agreement focuses on the following objectives, grouped together under three categories: A) Adaptation of copyright exceptions/limitations to the digital and cross-border environment
“The directive introduces mandatory exceptions to copyright for the purposes of text and data mining, online teaching activities and the preservation and online dissemination of cultural heritage. B) Improvement of licensing practices to ensure wider access to content
The directive provides for harmonised rules facilitating the:
• exploitation of works that have stopped being commercialised (out-of-commerce works),
• issuing of collective licences with extended effect and
• rights clearance for films by video-on-demand platforms. C) Achievement of a well-functioning marketplace for copyright
The directive introduces a new right for press publishers for the digital use of their press publications. Authors of works incorporated in the press publication in question will be entitled to a share of the press publisher’s revenue deriving from this new right. As regards online content sharing platforms, the directive clarifies the legal framework within which they operate. Such platforms will in principle have to obtain a licence for copyright protected works uploaded by users unless a number of conditions provided for in the directive are met.

British Copyright Council has been urging MEPs to support fair play for creative sectors

The BRC statement explained the position of those seeking to oppose the changes in this way: “Those seeking to stop Parliament’s proposals going forward for debate with the European Council claim a number of fictions, including that the changes will lead to widespread censorship, the stifling of expression and the end of internet as we know it. The facts are more prosaic: the new laws seek simply to give commercial platforms (not non-commercial services, such an online encyclopaedias) an obligation to ensure in-copyright works are exploited legally and in a way that returns a fair rate of reward to their creators and right-holders.”

It continues: “The directive introduces no new restrictions or responsibilities on users — indeed, rather than deterring people from posting material on the web, the proposal for online content-sharing services to obtain a licence from right-holders that covers user-uploads, would increase certainty for those who are otherwise unsure whether they are acting under a legal exception or infringing copyright. This is good for the people who make creative works, good for people who want to use them with confidence and essential for the progress of our cultural and digital economies.

The NMA, representing national, regional and local news media, believes “The current regime generally strikes the right balance in terms of protecting the rights of content creators and the rights of consumers or users. Any significant new exceptions could be highly damaging to the news media industry.”

Particularly appealing to publishers is the inclusion of a Publisher’s Right, designed to ensure that content providers receive fair compensation for the use of their material. Concludes the NMA: “On the UK front, publishers are concerned to ensure that the Government ensures stability and certainty in the IP framework after Brexit.”

However the Directive will of course not made it through before Brexit D-Day on 29 March…..

© Copyright in the Digital Age