European copyright law reform enters its decisive phase. Changes will be proposed by the Commission in the coming months, and will determine the shape of European law for many years. Activists involved in copyright reform from across Europe met last week in Warsaw to discuss this subject. During the meeting we worked to expand the participants’ knowledge on the legislative process in the European Union, but also map the major challenges and plan further action of non-governmental organizations in Europe.
Activists from 12 countries in Europe, who work on the reform of copyright law, came to Warsaw for the School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright, organized by Communia Association, European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRI) and Centrum Cyfrowe. The participants discussed the main areas of upcoming reform: text and data mining, geoblocking, fair use in education, freedom of panorama, online access to cultural heritage, the liability of intermediaries, court injunctions in copyright and approach “follow the money”.
Joe McNamee from EDRI spoke about the intricacies of the legislative process in the European Union and tools which NGOs can use to be involved in it. Jean Bergevin (EC, Intellectual Property Directorate), Eszter Bako (assistant of MEP Reda) and Emil Kędzierski (Ministry of Administration and Digitization of Poland) discussed challenges which NGOs can encounter working with particular institutions. In the context of ongoing consultations on platforms and intermediaries, as well as the leak of European Commission Communication “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework”, the participants looked at closer to three issues: the liability of intermediaries, copyright in education and the public domain. Each group talked about steps that can be taken both by individual organizations and in partnerships.
School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright was an important event for all participants, especially for two reasons. Firstly, they were able to meet and get to know many activists involved in the reform of copyright in their countries and at EU level. These contacts will certainly help in making further joint actions in order to be active in the process of shaping digital single market. Secondly, the legislative process at European level is far different from that at the national level and every opportunity to learn about the details and meanders of its practical functioning gives new knowledge to use in advocacy work.