08 September 2009

EU - Time for Europe to turn over a new e-leaf on digital books and copyright

Joint Statement of EU Commissioners Reding and McCreevy on the occasion of Google Books meetings in Brussels. Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, and Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, have made a joint statement setting out the important cultural and economic stakes of book digitisation in Europe. To face the daunting task of digitising Europe's books, of which there are tens of millions in Europe's national libraries alone, the two Commissioners stressed the need for fully respecting copyright rules to ensure fair remuneration for authors, but also welcomed public-private partnerships as a means to boost digitisation of books. They highlighted the need to adapt Europe's still very fragmented copyright legislation to the digital age, in particular with regard to orphan and out-of-print works. The statement of the two Commissioners comes ahead of a series of workshops and meetings between the Commission, cultural institutions, right holders, IT companies and consumer organisations, which start with an information hearing on the US class action settlement on Google Book Search. see also articles in BBC, Guardian and New York Times.