Nightspore

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EU consultation on reform of copyright

Anyone interested in reform of copyright, particularly those of you reading this who are also authors and bloggers, may want to respond to the current European Union consultation on the reform of copyright across the EU.
This might help get rid of some of the ambiguity. Examples include whether it is permissible to link to websites without the site owner’s prior agreement, the impact of different copyright laws and policies in different EU member countries or the ability to receive TV programmes broadcast in one member country in another.
Note that the consultation closes on 5 March, so there is little time to respond especially as the full consultation is 80 questions.
The Open Rights Group has selected four questions it considers most relevant around retaining openness and the ability to link to freelay available material without seeking prior permission. To quote ORG:

Unfortunately, the consultation could … put crucial functions of the Internet in jeopardy. It asks whether you should need the permission of the rights holder of a work before linking to that work or viewing it. If that happened, ordinary everyday web browsing would become a lot more complicated.Lobbyists from big rights holder groups are taking part in the conversation and telling the European Commission that we should have to get the authorisation of the rights holder before linking or viewing their work. If we don’t get involved, the Commission will just get the views of the large rights holder lobby.

The ORG’s four questions are here.

Authors and others interested in more than this around copyright reform in the EU but who don’t want to respond to all 80 questions will find this link useful. By using tick boxes to identify your areas of interest a selection of the most relevant questions – not all of which need be responded to – will be brought up. Note this is not the official EU site but (to quote the the site I have linked to) it…

…has been put together by a broad cross-section of interest groups from across Europe, from rights holders to public interest NGOs to large consumer representatives and everything in between.

They seem to have made the questionnaire more accessible and provide guidance on meaning of the questions. After completion the site generates a document you can forward to the EU consultation group. I’ve used it and found it effective.

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