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EU to reopen copyright law

 

The Creators’ Rights Alliance responds to the European Commission re-opening copyright exceptions

5 December 2012

Member organisations of the Creators’ Rights Alliance represent over 100,000 creators, from novelists and illustrators to journalists and composers and musicians, in the UK. See www.creatorsrights.org.uk for details.

Today the European Commission announced that it is re-opening the "InfoSoc Directive", particularly the part that governs the "exceptions" to copyright allowed under EU law.

The Commission said in announcing this that content is generally provided by content hosts such as You Tube, iTunes, FT.com.

This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the "creative industries". It is individual creators – autors and performers – who provide content.

 

Many of the proposals for exceptions would simply transfer value from European creators, and the companies that distribute our works, to internet companies – and thus, as things stand, out of the EU. The Creators’ Rights Alliance does not understand why these companies should be priviliged in EU policy or law.

The Commission also suggests that changes to Community law are required to deal with “user-generated content”. This suggests another misconception.

Every citizen is a creator, and needs rights

Every citizen needs an enforceable right to be identified – that is, given a credit or byline and to defend the integrity of our work. We all – especially, perhaps, politicians - needs these rights as a protection against the abuses of creative works and news reporting that are so sadly common when copying, manipulation and out-of-context use are a matter of a few taps on a screen.

It is more important than ever that citizens should have a right to know the source of the information they are receiving: this can only be achieved through creators taking responsibility for their work through strengthened rights of identification and integrity.

Mike Holderness

Chair, Creators’ Rights Alliance


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