Commissioner speaks out on digital copyright

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New copyright legislation for digital publishing is imminent, according the European Information Society Commissioner. Commissioner Viviane Reding told the annual Publishers’ Forum in Brussels that the forthcoming Communication on Online Media would consider copyright for digital publishing.

‘Copyright is a cornerstone of the information and knowledge-based society,’ she commented. ‘For the first time, an electronic communications package includes specific requirements for network operators and users to respect copyright law and I hope it will send a signal across the whole industry at a critical time.’

However, she conceded that ‘law cannot achieve everything alone,’ adding that she is following the Automated Content Access Protocol project as one of many projects to ensure respect of copyright, with high interest. ‘I very much hope that companies offering search engines will cooperate with ACAP. Here we have good possibilities for a win-win situation for all stakeholders, as publishers can link content with authorisations for access and use in a form that can easily be recognised and interpreted by a search engine crawler and thus helps avoid complex and costly legal disputes between content providers and search engines,’ she explained.