People, 1. -  3. October 1998
Mechthild von Alemann

European Publishers and the Commission proposal for a Copyright Directive on the harmonisation of copyright and related rights in the Information Society

Firstly, I would like to apologise for Mr Charles Clark, who is the copyright counsel of the Federation of European Publishers. Due to other obligations, Mr Clark asked me to replace him. It is for me a great honour to present you today the publishers' view on new developments.

FEP strongly supports the proposed Directive as it provides for the legal framework and security for trading IPR in the Information society. It is of fundamental importance for European publishers that the proposed Directive rightly recognises: digital is different.

Firstly, I would like to tell you where we see the main differences between analogue and digital environment and the regulatory implications for an appropriate copyright regime.
Secondly, I will explain why FEP is welcoming the proposed Directive. However, I will conclude by outlining crucial points for European publishers which have to be taken into account during the legislative process - before the Directive will finally be adopted by Parliament and the Council.

We must bear in mind the overall aim of the Draft Directive. That aim is given early in the Explanatory Memorandum which accompanies the draft - 'to present harmonising measures in order to bring about a coherent and favourable environment for creativity and investment in the framework of the Internal Market'. The emphasis of that language on a coherent and favourable environment for creativity and investment should be used as a measure against which to judge the detailed provisions of the Draft Directive, as the texts comes now under detailed scrutiny in the European Parliament. The Explanatory Memorandum also sees the Draft Directive as implementation of a significant number of the new international obligations in the two new WIPO Treaties : the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty: 'The proposal implements and integrates the obligations under the new WIPO Treaties in the light of the acquis communautaire and of the needs of the Internal Market'.

The emphasis in the above statement on acquis communautaire is important. The Communication from DG XV of November 1996 specifically stated in respect to reproduction right: 'the guiding principles can be derived from the acquis communautaire. Accordingly, the right of reproduction should be adapted to the digital environment. In more cases than at present, therefore, rightsholders may enjoy, without limitation, the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit acts of reproduction'.

In several EU Member States, publishers have started to license electronic books and journals to users. Licensing contracts have been concluded between librarians or their representatives and publishers. Often, signatories of licenses have been large consortia of libraries, public, university or national libraries.

Regarding now the proposed Directive, FEP welcomes the inclusion and the clear definition of the right of reproduction, the right of communication to public (including the making available right) which is not subject to exhaustion. FEP greatly welcomes that the proposed Directive includes an exclusive right of distribution and the Community exhaustion of this right is limited to cases of reproduction authorised on a voluntary basis by rightsholders.

However, there are some provisions of the proposed Directive which raise concern of European publishers. I have special points on articles 5.1, 5.2, 6.3 which surely will come up in the discussion.

Biography: geb. 29.01.1937 in Seebach, Thüringen
Beruf: Bibliothekarin in Unternehmensberatung
Politische Laufbahn Kommunalpolitik in Düsseldorf,
Abgeordnete der F.D.P. im Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen, Sprecherin der F.D.P. für Verkehrspolitik

Abgeordnete der F.D.P. im ersten direkt gewählten Europaparlament, Sprecherin der Liberalen und Demokratischen Fraktion (ELDR) für Verkehrspolitik

Generalsekretärin der ELDR-Parteien-Föderation

Abgeordnete im Europaparlament

1990- 1994
Erste Vizepräsidentin der LDR-Fraktion im EP (drittgrößte Fraktion )

Mitglied des F.D.P. Präsidiums

jetzige Tätigkeit
seit 1.1.1995 Generalsekretärin des Europäischen Verlegerverbandes (Federation of European Publishers)
Institution: Federation of European Publishers, GB
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