The Case for an EU-wide Copyright
Carolyn Jameson, General Counsel, Skyscanner Ltd, UK
The emergence, and subsequent pervasiveness of the internet, has resulted in the increasing digitalisation, distribution and accessibility of copyrighted works. The internet is now generally regarded as the principal means of communication and source of information. Volume of content available online is rapidly expanding, making sources that were previously only in physical form more widely accessible.
Copyright within Europe remains a territorial right, and ownership and licensing regimes vary between states, causing uncertainty as to what the law allows for both right holders and users of copyrighted works. This is problematic for a single market within Europe, and damaging to existing and emerging businesses reliant upon copyright being respected. With Europe lagging behind the US in the internet economy, and some of the largest companies in the world being founded upon internet reliant business models, the place of the internet in the future competitive success of the individual member states and the European economic market cannot be overstated. The ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ initiative launched by the European Commission in 2010 recognised the need for the EU copyright regulatory framework remaining fit for purpose in the digital environment “to support creation and innovation, foster growth and investment in our economy, and promote cultural diversity”.
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