Copyright: challenges of the digital era

By EDRi · February 13, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Urheberrecht im digitalen Zeitalter |]

EDRi has freshly launched a booklet that overviews the challenges that
copyright is facing in the digital environment.

For the past twelve years, the European Union has discussed how to
support, develop and protect creation in the digital environment. Two
months ago, the College of Commissioners recognised the necessity that
copyright “stays fit for purpose” in the digital economy.

Until now, the focus point has been on the enforcement of pre-existing
legislative norms not only within the rule of law but also through
private policing via internet service providers. However, despite all
these efforts, there is still an ubiquitous lack of respect for copyright.

The booklet looks at the reasons for this profound gap that has emerged
between citizens and the law. Following a brief introduction to the
logic behind granting monopoly rights, the booklet lists some reasons
that lead to difficulties in respecting copyright law, ranging from
excessive penalties for breaching the law to legally-protected
restrictions on citizens’ rights to use digital products they paid for.
It then focuses on the impact of rigid and outdated copyright law on
legitimate businesses. Finally, it gives a glance at the wide range of
excessive enforcement measures that underline the deterioration of
copyright leading to unreasonable and wrongful practices.

In short, this booklet presents a simplified overview of the
difficulties facing public support for copyright. EDRi hopes that it
will have a positive impact on the current debate regarding the
necessity of reforming copyright law and adapting the current system to
the digital age, allowing the achievement of the digital single market,
removing existing barriers and giving citizens a better access to their

Copyright: challenges of the digital era (02.2013)

Commission agrees way forward for modernising copyright in the digital
economy (5.12.2012)

Report from the Commission on the application of Directive 2004/48/EC

(Contribution by Marie Humeau – EDRi)