13 June 2016Copyright

EU copyright consultation period closing

The European Commission’s public consultation on aspects of EU copyright law including protection for photographs and drawings of public buildings  is closing on June 15.

In March this year, WIPR reported that the commission had launched the public consultation. It was seeking views on whether the ‘panorama exception’ gives rise to “specific problems”.

The panorama exception allows member states to lay down exceptions or limitations to copyright when it concerns the use of buildings or sculptures that were established as public places.

For example, it might affect the uploading of images of famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower online.

The consultation asks whether the legislative framework governing the exception gives rise to specific problems in the context of the digital single market.

The commission is also asking whether neighbouring rights should be extended to publishers.

Neighbouring rights are similar to copyright but do not reward an original creation by an artist. They reward either the performance of a work, for example by a singer, or an organisational or financial effort which may have participated in the process.

Currently in the EU, copyright law grants neighbouring rights to performers, film producers, record producers and broadcasting organisations, but not to publishers.

According to the commission, it wants to “hear from everyone” interested in the publishing sector and the digital economy including “authors, researchers, publishers, online service providers and others in the creative industries”.

The public consultation period ends on Wednesday, June 15.

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