EU lawmakers ask for help tackling copyright questions in the cloud era

The questionnaire also asks how to handle a growing second-hand digital market

The European Commission on Thursday asked the public for feedback on whether the European Union's copyright laws are fit for the digital age.

The consultation is part of a reform of the E.U.'s copyright rules. The Commission wants to create a level playing field across the E.U. with the possibility of a single license to cover all 28 member states. It is thought this would help companies like Spotify, which offers music streaming.

The questionnaire asks if respondents have had difficulty in providing or accessing digital content from other E.U. member states.

The 80-question survey also seeks to address more complex issues such as how to apply levies in a world dominated by cloud computing and the possibility of an emerging second-hand digital content market.

Levies are tariffs imposed by national authorities on goods typically used for copying, such as blank media, recording equipment and scanners. The money collected is used to compensate right holders that lose earnings when copies are made without their authorization.

However, content is increasingly sold in a digital format to consumers with multiple devices, prompting the Commission to ask whether an individual storing multiple copies of a file should trigger the application of private copying levies. "There is also an ongoing discussion as to the application or not of levies to certain types of cloud-based services such as personal lockers or personal video recorders," said a Commission statement.

The questionnaire asks how changes in levies related to cloud services would impact the development and functioning of new business models.

The Commission also wants consumers and end users in particular to answer whether they have faced restrictions when trying to resell digital files, such as MP3 music files or e-books.

When a physical item such as a CD or a book is sold, the right holder cannot prevent the further distribution of that item. The Commission is trying to find out whether this principle can also be applied in the case of content being bought by digital transmission, particularly how to prevent resellers keeping and using a copy of a work after they have "resold" it.

The Commission also wants to take into consideration the fact that second-hand digital copies do not deteriorate, in contrast to the second-hand market for physical goods.

To tackle the issue of websites that provide links to copyrighted content, the Commission asks: Should the provision of a hyperlink leading to a work or other subject matter protected under copyright be subject to the authorization of the right holder?

Interested parties have until Feb. 5 to take the survey.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags european commissionintellectual propertycopyrightlegalinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?