EU Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy - “COM (2008) 466 Final”

This EC's Green Paper deals mainly with Copyright Directive focusing on the promotion of free circulation of knowledge and innovation as the “Fifth Freedom” of EU single market. By the way the Commission highlights the importance of balancing the copyright protection (“crucial for intellectual creation”) and its exemptions and limitations relating to:

  • Benefit of ibraries and archives: digitisation of books and audiovisual materials by libraries and archives can preserve works for the future generations and create an online market for end users. In order to do so, Member States are suggested to establish wider exemptions to the right of reproduction and communication. Moreover, the Commission encourages better mechanisms to facilitate the use of orphan works.
  • Benefit of people with a disability: this point underlines that exemptions (Recital 43 of Copyright Directive) to exclusive rights in favour of disabled people have been implemented by all Member States even if some national regimes protect only some categories of disabled people (e.g. visually impaired) or provide exemptions only to certain rights.
  • Dissemination of works for teaching and research purposes: digital technology is often more used by students, researchers and teachers. In relation to this point, the EC acknowledge that the exemption "for the sole purpose of illustration for teaching or scientific research” (Recital 42) of the Copyright Directive has not been applied uniformly in the Member States.
  • User-created content: the Commission evaluates the possibility to introduce an exemption for user-created content in order to adapt the legal regime to the creative, transformative or derivative works obtained through the use of Web 2.0 applications.

It is useful to remember that EC's Green Papers and the exemptions contained in the Copyright Directive are not mandatory.

See also