Today the European Commission held a debate on copyright in the digital economy, and it agreed to move forward with a two tiered workplan to address the issues over the next year and a half.  It will hold a formal stakeholder dialogue beginning early next year, and by the middle of 2014 it could table proposed reforms.

An EC press release further says that topics to be addressed includ “agreeing appropriate levels of harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age,” as well as  “how to improve the legitimacy of enforcement in the context of wider copyright reform.”

In the lead-up to the Commission’s debate, three rightholder organizations wrote a letter to EC President Barroso, warning that “A policy to broaden exceptions and limitations, including for education and libraries, would jeopardize the income of authors and publishers and, consequentially, have a negative impact on their competitiveness and ability to invest in innovative new products. We fail to see that this is in the interest of the declared objective of the European Commission to shape the future Europe on the knowledge-based economy, which is built on copyright content and other intellectual property.”  The  Society of Audiovisual Authors also circulated a petition to the EC, asking them to support authors’ rights.

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