By Heini Järvinen

On 5 March 2014, three months after its launch, the European Commission closed the public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. This public consultation is part of the European Commission’s effort to review and modernise copyright rules in the EU and to adapt the current system to the digital age.

The 2001/29/EC Directive failed to harmonise copyright and, as a result, the EU is facing a mosaic of 28 copyright frameworks that are creating barriers to achieving a digital single market. Citizens are facing territorial restrictions and legal uncertainty regarding what is allowed and what is not. The system is not adapted to technological changes, restricting the possibility for new services to provide citizens with greater choice and better services across borders.

The copyright rules urgently need to be harmonised and to offer flexibility and adaptability to an ever-changing digital environment.

The European Commission is planning to release a white paper on copyright before June 2014. This deadline presents a huge challenge for the Commission, particularly bearing ind mind the the number of  submissions to the public consultation received (11,117). This huge number of answers shows at least the importance of the copyright debate in the EU and in the digital age and the great interest in the issue.

Hopefully the European Commission will grab this opportunity to modernise the copyright rules, to embrace the digital age and to eliminate the barriers to achieve a digital single market. The future of copyright relies on offering European citizens a framework that will allow harmonisation, legal certainty, flexibility and greater access to Europe’s cultural heritage.

EDRi’s response to the consultation
http://edri.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/EDRi-answer-copyright-consultation-2014_web.pdf

EDRi’s booklet on copyright which explains the challenges of the digital
age in detail
http://edri.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/paper07_web_20130202.pdf

(Contribution by Marie Humeau – EDRi)