Public Lecture: Copyright Reform in a Brexit environment

Martin Kretschmer speakingPublic Lecture: Copyright Reform in a Brexit environment
By Prof. Martin Kretschmer (Director of CREATe, the RCUK Copyright Centre)

Where: University of Glasgow, Humanities Lecture Theatre,
When: Wednesday, October 19th, 17:30

This event is part of the CREATe Public Lecture Series 2016. Edited transcripts will be made available.


On September 14th, the European Commission presented a package of proposed copyright reforms under the banner of promoting a Digital Single Market (DSM).

In fact, the initiative tries to overcome a legislative stalemate of 15 years (since the Information Society Directive of 2001), during which the job of migrating copyright law into a digital world had been largely left to the European Court of Justice.

Among the measures announced are potentially far reaching interventions, such as establishing the principle that online rights need to be cleared only in the country of origin (bypassing the need to acquire licences in 28 EU countries – though the provision applies only to broadcasters at this stage).

There is also an attempt to force digital intermediaries to pay royalties, namely those platforms that benefit from exposure of unauthorised, copyright protected materials uploaded by users (so-called “user generated content” or UGC: prominent examples include music videos on YouTube, or images on Facebook). This proposed intervention has been labelled variously as blatantly anti-American, a general monitoring obligation, a jealousy tax and an innovation own goal, making it harder for European digital start-ups to compete.

Other proposed measures aim to channel revenues to press publishers (by giving them new rights – critiqued here), increase transparency in copyright related payments to artists, foster digitisation of cultural heritage, facilitate access for the visually impaired, and legitimise big data practices (such as text and data mining).

This lecture will investigate what a digital single market means in an interconnected world in which copyright still slices content by territory, and where the balance between artists, investors and users still reflects an analogue world of linear exploitation.

Finally, the lecture turns to Brexit. Can the UK become a digital Island?


The public lecture is free and open to everyone. Registration secures a seat.

The Humanities Lecture Theatre (Room 255 in the University of Glasgow Main Building off the West Quadrangle) will form a striking setting for this event. It is the University’s only lecture theatre preserved in its original Victorian wooden amphitheatre layout. In the digital world, we need to take the long view!

Room 255 is accessible from the ‘Foyer to the Forehall’ labelled 256A on this map.

Join us at CREATe, School of Law, on Wednesday October 19th, at 17:30.

 

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