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[Fwd: EU Directive on Copyright passed]

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Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
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Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 02:33:02 -0800
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: EU Directive on Copyright passed
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The European Parliament yesterday voted to approve, with some
amendments, the Common Position, as agreed by the EU Member State
governments, on the Directive to harmonise certain aspects of
copyright and related rights.

The following text is adapted from the daily summary of the Parliament
and includes a link to the text agreed [this text only shows
the amendments as agreed, if anyone wants the original text send
me mail and I will point you to the aoriginal text]

Bye, Barry

Copyright protection on the Internet
Report on the information society: copyright and related rights
Link to the text:
Procedure : Codecision procedure (2nd reading)
Debate : 13.02.01; Vote: 14.02.01
[The European] Parliament today approved with a number of amendments
the Council's common position on the harmonisation of copyright
in the information society. The aim of the directive is to update
EU legislation on copyright to take account of new technologies
and to implement international obligations arising from two treaties
adopted under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property
Organisation (WIPO) in December 1996.
Under the text, as approved, authors, performers, producers and
broadcasting organisations will in principle enjoy exclusive
rights regarding the reproduction, communication and dissemination
of their work. However, there will be certain exceptions and
limitations as well. Under one such exception, the only one applicable
compulsorily in all Member States, temporary acts of reproduction
will be allowed where these are transient or incidental and form
an integral and essential part of a technological process.
In addition, Member States will have the option of introducing
exceptions or limitations to the principle of authors' rights
to take account of the interests of the public, the industry
and certain specific categories (e.g. persons with disabilities)
or of certain purposes (reproduction by the press, religious
purposes) or of the need to promote scientific research and artistic
works. In some cases these exceptions or limitations are only
allowed on condition that the rightholder receives 'fair compensation';
in others again, that the source, including the author's name,
is indicated.
Parliament's amendments focused primarily on these exceptions
and limitations. For example, MEPs want to alter the wording
of the exception to the exclusive rights of rightholders concerning
the reproduction of their work on any medium, by stipulating
that this refers only to natural persons acting for private use
and for ends that are neither 'directly or indirectly commercial'
(the Council's common position refers only to 'non-commercial
ends' in general). This amendment is designed to strengthen the
protection of rightholders while at the same time allowing individuals
to make copies for private use.
Other amendments seek to reverse the burden of responsibility
by tightening up the wording of certain exceptions so as to restrict
their scope and protect authors' rights better. Thus, Council's
common position lays down, in four cases where reproduction is
allowed (e.g. for teaching or scientific research or for criticism
or review purposes), that the source, including the author's
name, should be indicated 'whenever possible'. This leaves the
door open to a whole range of violations. Parliament wants this
rule reversed, by stipulating that the source should always be
indicated 'except where it proves impossible'.
Finally, Parliament wants to shorten the deadline for the directive's
entry into force from 24 months, as proposed by Council, to 18
months, so that it can come into force at the same time as the
electronic commerce directive.
Before the vote numerous MEPs declared a financial interest,
with Richard CORBETT (PES, Yorkshire and the Humber) pointing
out that this information was contained in the Parliament's own
book and this would now be placed on the Internet.
Press enquiries:
Nikos Tziorkas
(Strasbourg) tel.(33) 3 881 74357
(Brussels) tel.(32-2) 28 42341
e-mail : lega-press@europarl.eu.int


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