Copyright law must be relaxed, say EU group

A newly -formed group has called for a relaxation of copyright law across Europe.

Copyright For Creativity, a coalition of digital activists, ISPs and other trade associations this week issued a declaration demanding the harmonisation of copyright exceptions across EU member states.

The group is demanding a fresh look at copyright law, focusing on the right of individuals to access material. This includes making it easier for copyrighted material to be legitimately re-used, improving the rights of academics to reproduce material for research or archiving, and allowing the use of technologies that widen access for those with disabilities.

“The establishment of harmonised, consumer-friendly copyright limitations and exceptions is needed with a view to create more certainty for consumers and remove unrealistic constraints on the use of creative content by consumers," said a statement from European consumer rights group BEUC, one of the signatories to the declaration.

Among the other groups adding their voice to the call were the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Open Rights Group, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Special Libraries Association (SLA), the International Music Managers' Forum and European ISPs' mouthpiece, EuroISPA.

The declaration calls for European law to harmonised, ensuring copyrighted material can be traded across borders and all EU citizens are treated equally.