The rapid rate of digitization observed within the past decade has introduced several novel questions for copyright owners and attorneys, affecting everything from the royalty management terms signed by musical artists to library lending policies. As media producers, consumers and regulators across the United States struggle to interpret and respond to these developments, European lawmakers seem to be building a path to progress.
This week, European Union delegates finalized a detailed agenda for bringing copyright rules and regulations into alignment with the emerging digital economy.
"[Lawmakers will] work for a modern copyright framework that guarantees effective recognition and remuneration of rights holders in order to provide sustainable incentives for creativity, cultural diversity and innovation; opens up greater access and a wider choice of legal offers to end users; allows new business models to emerge; and contributes to combating illegal offers and piracy," European Commission leaders stated.
The EC plans to pursue two "parallel tracks of action," addressing immediate issues such as cross-border content delivery and commercial data mining in addition to long-term considerations like market impact assessments and the formation of draft legislation by 2014.
According to Reuters, there has already been speculation the the EC may soften its fair use policies to allow for more liberal reproduction of protected works - albeit in limited samples.