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Copyright, Collective Rights Management, Licensing, Territoriality, European Commission, Digital Environment


In Europe, much has been written recently about the collective management of copyright and related rights. April 2004 saw the publication of the European Commission’s Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the Management of Copyright and Related Rights in the Internal Market. This communication confirms the Commission’s intention to adopt, in the not too distant future, a directive on the governance of the societies for collective management of copyright and related rights (collecting societies) in Europe. In addition to describing the current situation in the area of collective management of copyright and related rights in the European Union, the communication presents a number of options for improving the conditions for developing Community-wide licensing of rights. The Commission notes that the management and utilization of copyright and related rights often concerns the European market as a whole; while the digital environment lends itself, by definition, to the cross-border exploitation of rights, the licensing of analogue exploitation is also increasingly taking on a cross-border dimension. Ideally, rights management should therefore adapt to new situations, such as the increasing call for a “Community-wide” licensing of certain rights and should secure a balance between the need to protect authors and artists, on the one hand, and the requirements of commercial users, on the other.


©Lucie Guibault, 2004