Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Copyright reforms back on the agenda in Europe

As Amazon continue to insist that its ‘cloud’ based music service needs no licences from either music publishers or record labels, better news for rights owners from the 1709 Copyright Blog who report that ‘term extension’ is back on the EU’s Agenda. Term extension for sound recordings means extending the current EU wide term of copyright protection from the current 50 years to anything from 70 years to even 95 years (mirroring the USA) - something the record labels have long lobbied for and something it seems that the current presidency of the EU, Hungary, is pressing for. In other news it seems that the Dutch Government is also looking at revising its copyright laws to fit in with the digital age. At the moment the Dutch apply a levy to blank CDs and DVDs – to compensate rights owners for downloading and copying – which isn’t illegal in Holland under the private copy clause of the country's fair use provisions - although uploading is illegal. Under new proposals from the government downloading would also become illegal - meaning anyone who downloads music could be liable for copyright infringement actions. The new proposals are supported by the country's anti-piracy group BREIN, who say that if the law is changed they will not go after individual downloader's, preferring to target those who run the websites that enable file-sharing instead.

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