Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, made an excellent speech recently which captured very neatly the challenge of applying the legal framework to the digital environment. This is the start of a process to update the copyright framework in the EU. Extract below:
"Let's remind ourselves of that context. The world we live in is changing fast. Technology is changing. Business models are changing. The way we consume and enjoy creative works - music, movies, games – is changing.
And, if we want to keep the right balance, the legal framework has to respond.
The last major EU copyright instrument, the Copyright Directive, was adopted in 2001. The Commission proposals it was based on date back to 1998.
Let's remind ourselves what's happened since then.
In 1998, Mark Zuckerberg was 14. Today, almost one billion people around the world actively use Facebook, to share photos, videos, and ideas.
In 1998, YouTube didn't exist. Today, one hour of video is uploaded every second."
Some IP lawyers would then start to bang on about the Berne Convention (1886) but Neelie Kroes looks to be right.
So where does that leave the current coalition re digital ? Will the revisions from Brussels be accepted or will the Digital Economy Act remain in all its glory leading the witch hunt for consumers who transgress (rather than the facilitators who have political lobbyists).