IP Forum Report

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This is a report of the IP Forum conference "Making European copyright fit for purpose in the digital age" at the EP on the 6 December 2012 (Press Release and Speech (fr), (en)). The IP forum is organised by French EPP MEP Marielle Gallo and the main guest was Commissioner for Inner Market Michel Barnier. The initial version of this report was written by User:Dimi_z. Comments are in cursive.


Barnier naturally started how this was this beginning of the process of legislative process, how they are open to discuss everything and work with everyone. Of course he didn't miss to stress how important the creative industry is to the economy, and while the internet has brought a lot of positives (like giving more people access to quality content) but also a lot of problems (it doesn't cover the investments that authors, editors and production companies have to make to create the content)

Legislation Strategy[edit]

  • Let the industry and stakeholders find solutions themselves.
  • Be prepared to legislate wherever necessary. Review the "InfoSoc" directive from 2011 if needed. Current Copyright directive, originally trying to harmonise copyright exceptions and fair use, but considered a win for industry lobbyists, since leaving

member states with most decisions about what to do. Analysis and Directive.


1. Make it easier for Europeans to access their cultural heritage. Here the project Europeana and the Orphan Works Directive. [Which doesn't allow commercial use, thus Wikimedia can't profit from it.] are mentioned as positive projects.

2. Make it possible for Europeans to access content across the single market. Remove geographically limited licenses within the EU, since the EU is a single market and such geographical limitation are illegal for other products.

3. Reform copyright in a way to allow authors to earn an income and attracts investment in the creation of quality content.

Worth mentioning is that he stressed several times that he is not ideologically burdened and open to any exceptions and propositions, even exceptions in copyright.

Here the position of MEP Gallo was at the opposite end, as she stressed that she is not talking of adapting the copyright itself, but only the way it is implemented. She stressed explicitly that there can be no new exceptions.

Licensing Europe[edit]

Back to the Commission, they have started an initiative they call "Licensing Europe", which should start a dialogue that lasts until the end of 2013 to come up with very specific solution to cope with the legitimate frustrations of consumers, companies and citizens. The Commission has identified six questions around which the debates should be structured:

1. Cross-border portability of content services.

2. Online access to audiovisual works.

3. Digitalisation and access to European films. Note how points 1, 2 and 3 are essentially the same thing.

4. The judicial insecurity regarding the reuse of content online. Here we might be talking about CC and the like. and the consideration of one-click policies. a.k.a. Click- through agreements

5. Questions raised by new search technologies and data mining. Which isn’t “evil” per se, but creates databases full of personal(isable) data which leads to some ethical worries. This should give a good overview.

6. The private copying levies. To wait for the mediation process by Antonio Vitorino.

Until New Year the Commission will draw up all the modalities for the "Lincensing Europe" initiative so the process can start in 2013.


In the Q&A there were quite some interesting questions (some from the Pirate Party) which didn't really lead to interesting answers. The Commissioner is clearly hoping for some technological solutions for the copyright problems, but is open to other proposals. The question about law enforcement when it comes to copyright was ducked by referring to the broader picture and that any enforcement need to demonstrate values that are felt as legitimate.

Related Pages on Meta[edit]

EU Policy
EU Policy Position Mapping
EU Policy Reports and Studies