European Parliament Seeks Copyright Reform

Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner, has received support from various representatives at the European Parliament (‘EP’) regarding his proposal for a Single European Copyright Title to be implemented.

A resolution to streamline certain aspects of copyright and related rights has been long sought by the EP, which is based in Strasbourg.

MEP Julia Reda, of the EP’s Committee on Legal Affairs, stated that one of the key aims of the Digital Single Market in the European Union should be to remove all territorial restrictions and encourage accessibility of services to all member states, at all times.

The idea of replacing the principle of territoriality in copyright, to create a rule that applies across the European market, has also found favour with other MEPs including a number of representatives on the Committee on Culture and Education.

There have also been suggestions that cross-border portability of audio-visual services, taking into account the speedy development of Video on Demand (VOD) and online transactions across the EU, could be further explored with the creation of copyright regulated at a European level.

Speaking about the Commission’s plans for copyright, Mr Oettinger said that 28 different copyright legislations are not conducive to an efficient market, and that businesses outside the EU are not impressed by such a lack of transparency between member states.

Mr Oettinger emphasised that a balanced solution to the EU copyright issue needs to be agreed on and in a few months’ time he intends to have submitted a first draft of legislation for a Single European Copyright.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.