Consumer access to online content

30-05-2012

Practically every day, new devices, platforms and providers for accessing, downloading, streaming and creating internet content emerge around the world. But the copyrights, which protect a large part of that content, are mostly governed on a national basis. Private users are lost in the maze of different rules and restrictions and have difficulty in accessing and using content in a legal manner. In addition, unlicensed sites conti­nually emerge, with content just a click away. Attempts have been made by the US with their ""fair use"" doctrine and by the EU with the Copyright Directive, to provide exceptions for private users. But many issues including usage restrictions, data protection and up-to-date remuneration systems for authors have yet to be resolved. Policy-makers and stakeholders promote different solutions, such as a legal regime with more flexibility for private use or a global database for music works, or different kinds of subscription models, some of which have already proven successful. The EU is in favour of global solutions and wants to facilitate consumer access.

Practically every day, new devices, platforms and providers for accessing, downloading, streaming and creating internet content emerge around the world. But the copyrights, which protect a large part of that content, are mostly governed on a national basis. Private users are lost in the maze of different rules and restrictions and have difficulty in accessing and using content in a legal manner. In addition, unlicensed sites conti­nually emerge, with content just a click away. Attempts have been made by the US with their ""fair use"" doctrine and by the EU with the Copyright Directive, to provide exceptions for private users. But many issues including usage restrictions, data protection and up-to-date remuneration systems for authors have yet to be resolved. Policy-makers and stakeholders promote different solutions, such as a legal regime with more flexibility for private use or a global database for music works, or different kinds of subscription models, some of which have already proven successful. The EU is in favour of global solutions and wants to facilitate consumer access.