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The European Commission has published the full draft of its Digital Single Market Strategy, part of which aims to harmonise online copyright laws across the EU.
In the report, published on Wednesday (May 6), the commission has outlined 16 steps it will take to build a single online market in the EU, which it hopes will create an extra €250 billion ($280 billion) across the region over the next four years.
One of its 16 steps is its plans to harmonise the length of copyright protection across the EU, though it does not outline a specific figure.
The report said: “Europe needs a more harmonised copyright regime which provides incentives to create and invest while allowing transmission and consumption of content across borders, building on our rich cultural diversity.
“To this end, the commission will propose solutions which maximise the offers available to users and open new opportunities for content creators, while preserving the financing of EU media and innovative content,” the report added.
In January, Julia Reda, a Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party, submitted proposals to modernise copyright law across the EU.
Reda’s report will form part of the commission’s strategy, which is made up of various pieces of pending legislation.
Her report aims to reform the EU’s 2001 Directive (2001/29/EC), also known as the Information Society Directive, which she has previously described as “blocking the exchange of knowledge and culture”.
In the report, Reda proposed to harmonise the term of copyright protection for works across the EU to ‘life plus 50 years’. In the UK, the term is currently ‘life plus 70 years’.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the commission, said: “The 16 steps of our Digital Single Market Strategy will help make the single market fit for a digital age.”
Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market, said: “Our strategy is an ambitious and necessary programme of initiative that targets areas where the EU can make a real difference.”
On June 16, Reda’s report is due to be voted on by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee. Once approved by the committee it will be voted on by the full European Parliament.
Digital Single Market Strategy; copyright; Jean-Claude Juncker; European Commission; Julia Reda; Information Society Directive