Europe seeks modernised copyright for digital age

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Europe seeks modernised copyright for digital age

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The European Commission will embark on a stakeholder dialogue as part of work to make copyright regulations more relevant in today's digital economy.

Among the issues to be discussed and addressed are geographic sales restrictions on content, imposed by rights holders.

The Commission wants to foster what it calls "cross-border online access" to ensure content distribution isn't limited to just one or a few EU countries.

Another area to be looked at is user-generated content or mash-ups and remixes that reuse existing material.

The Commission said that on average, people upload 72 hours of video to YouTube and 150,000 photos to Facebook — per minute.

This material often features content such as sound tracks that are covered by licensing rights so that they can be used on partner platforms. However, these are not transparent to end users.

The Commission wants greater clarity on uses of protected material with better information on how to acquire licenses.

The Commission is also seeking to promote automated text and data mining for scientific research, and cultural heritage cataloguing through standard licensing models and technology platforms to facilitate it.

Results will be presented before the end of next year, the Commission said.

According to the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the digital economy is expected to grow seven times faster than overall EU gross domestic product.

The Commission's goal is to ensure copyright "stays fit for purpose" in the new digital context and guarantees recognition and remuneration of rights holders to provide them with incentives for creativity and innovation, while opening access to legal content to combat piracy.

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