EU wants to erect opt-in hurdle for creators

A potentially incendiary EU report released today recommends making changes to the Berne Convention – and creating several new layers of bureaucracy in order to deal with the digitisation of cultural stuff. Creators would have to “opt-in” to a new database before getting their rights, which have historically been guaranteed by Berne signatories since 1886.

Berne is administered by the UN quango World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and changes are made only every few generations – it was last amended in 1979. Undaunted, a committee of “wise men” (actually, just three people) reporting to the EU’s Information Society initiative i2010 Digital Libraries Initiative has recommended “some form of registration as a precondition for a full exercise of rights” [Our emphasis].

The problem? Berne establishes most parts of copyright as an automatic, global right. Unravelling this would undermine the entire treaty – which isn’t likely.
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