A little over a month ago the European Commission published numerous pieces of draft legislation intended to bring the European copyright framework into the twenty-first century.

The proposed legislation includes a new “copyright directive” (available to view here) which sets out measures intended to facilitate the cross-border availability of, and ease of access to, copyright works.

The existing copyright framework was created long before mainstream digital technologies and media were commonly available. At that time, the idea that copyright works would one day be available and readily shared through online streaming services, video-on-demand platforms, eBooks etc. was not anticipated.

Also, consumers did not expect that such copyright works would be accessible on-the-go and across borders. This, again, is no longer the case.

The objective of the directive is therefore to create a “Digital Single Market”, but the European Commission is aware that this objective will only be achieved if the new rules are clear and fair, and set the foundation for a sustainable marketplace.

So, what next?

The UK government (through the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO)) has launched a consultation, or “call for views”, on the current draft of the directive. The government wants to hear from you in relation to the “costs and benefits of the proposals”, as well as any “suggestion for how the language of the proposed legislation can be improved”. Remember though, your views should be supported by evidence.

The consultation closes on 6 December 2016.

Further information about the Digital Single Market strategy can be found here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you require any further clarity on the proposed framework or require assistance in submitting your views to the UK IPO.

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