By Diego Naranjo

As part of our ongoing work on the copyright reform, EDRi in cooperation with Centrum Cyfrowe, Communia and Wikimedia, organised the School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright in Warsaw on 5-6 November. The date and location of the event were chosen taking advantage of the Copycamp event on 4 November, which gathers hundreds of copyright experts and activists every year.

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The School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright took place over two days. The first day was focused on the content of the copyright reform and the main issues that need to be addressed. The first panel session brought together national and EU level policy makers, as well as civil society: Emil Kedzierski from the Ministry of Administration and Digitization of Poland; Jean Bergevin, Head of Unit of the Fight against Counterfeiting and Piracy Unit in the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW); Eszter Bako, an assistant of the Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda; and Dimitar Dimitrov from Wikimedia. The goal of this panel was to provide a general legal background, as well as to inform activists who do not usually work in EU affairs who the main actors in the process are, how to approach them, and when to get involved in the dossiers to have a meaningful impact in the different policies. Also introductory sessions on the EU decision-making process, on cultural heritage and public domain, and one on copyright enforcement policies took place during the first day of the event.

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The second day was focused on strategies. The day started with a round of interventions from participants, who introduced their national level work and activities, and what their interest was in global EU copyright topics. After that the participants were split into small working groups on four different topics: the platforms consultation launched by the the European Commission, Copyright and Education, Public Domain, and the Communication from the European Commission leaked the evening of 5 November. The groups took note of specific actions points which will be developed in the following weeks among the civil society groups that expressed interests in those topics. The civil society agenda in the upcoming EU copyright reform will be established based on these action points.

The School of Rock(ing) Copyright was able to bring together activists to discuss general problems and opportunities in the EU copyright regime and the upcoming reform. It also shed some light of specific topics related to copyright, as well as the current and soon-to-be-proposed policies, and helped activists to gain a better understanding of how the EU functions and how to influence EU policies. Finally, and most importantly, it has created new networks to overcome the isolation of activists working in both national and Brussels contexts. These alliances already exist and are very strong among groups that are resisting modernisation, and therefore need to be equally strengthened among civil society organisations to #fixcopyright in the EU.

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Activist Guide to the Brussels Maze
https://edri.org/files/activist_guide_to_the_EU.pdf

EDRi’s Copyright Handbook
https://edri.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/paper07_web_20130202.pdf

School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright – Agenda
https://edri.org/files/CopyrightRock_agenda.pdf

(Contribution by Diego Naranjo, EDRi)

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