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EU to Review Protections for IP Copyright Holders

(CN) - The European Commission announced plans to overhaul intellectual property rights in the face of the digital age, saying it hopes for market-led solutions -- but does not rule out legislative reform.

Regulators began tackling copyrights in the digital context in 2011, when the commission implemented its Intellectual Property Rights Strategy. However, issues remain to ensure an effective single market according to a commission statement released Thursday.

The priority is to achieve a modern framework that guarantees recognition and remuneration for copyright holders. Accomplishing that will provide for creativity, cultural diversity and innovation, as well as a wider choice of legal offers to users and a more effective fight against piracy, according to the commission.

Talks with copyright holders and businesses are set to begin in 2013 and will address six issues the commission says need rapid progress: cross-border portability, user-generated content, data and text mining, private copy levies, access to audiovisual works and cultural heritage.

The commission says it will consider what legislative reforms in 2014, following talks with stakeholders and market studies. These will address territorial rights, market harmonization for limitations and exceptions to digital copyrights, reducing fragmentation in the EU copyright market and improving enforcement.

"The digital economy has been a major driver of growth in the past two decades, and is expected to grow seven times faster than overall EU GDP in coming years," the commission said. "Online, there are new ways of providing, creating and distributing content, and new ways to generate value. This represents a challenge and an opportunity for all the creative industries, authors and artists and other actors in the digital economy."

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