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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry
Posted in Copyright, Policy & Regulation Alastair Shaw

Copyright Report approved by Legal Affairs Committee of EU Parliament. Whole EP to vote on 9 July

Following amendments voted on by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, a somewhat watered-down version of its report on the implementation of the EU’s 2001 InfoSoc/Copyright Directive* will go forward for further likely amendment and vote by the full Parliament on 9 July 2015.

The full text of the report adopted by the committee, which will form a significant part of the input to the EU Commission’s legislative proposal for copyright reform (announced for the end of 2015 in its Digital Single Market strategy paper in May), is not yet available. But according to the EP’s press release, the draft report amongst other things calls for:

  • An impact assessment in relation to any single European copyright title proposal
  • The retention of territorial licensing, whilst seeking to tackle issues arising from geo-blocking of access to certain content services
  • Some of the copyright exceptions and limitations to be mandatory across the EU – recognising that some difference may be justified on the grounds of specific cultural and economic interests
  • Assessment by the EU Commission of proposed exceptions to allow (for example):-
    • Libraries to lend e-books; and
    • Text and data mining
  • An impact study of the Commission’s copyright modernisation initiative on the production, financing and distribution of films and TV content, and on cultural diversity.

The outcome of the committee stage sees a somewhat watered-down version of the January 2015 draft report authored by the committee’s rapporteur, Julia Reda MEP, who, nevertheless, is quoted as saying: “After decades of introducing new restrictions to protect the material interests of rightholders, this is the strongest demand yet to restore balance in copyright rules and reduce the legal uncertainty that Europeans face when accessing copyrighted works today.

* Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.