EU To Focus On Digital Content Policy In 2012

The European Commission says 2011 progress against its digital agenda ambitions has been “mixed”.

“Of the 21 actions under this heading, 8 are completed, 5 are delayed, and 8 are on track,” according to the EC’s Digital Agenda for Europe Annual Progress Report 2011.

The project’s primary pillar is creating a “single digital market” to boost entertainment download and streaming services across borders, including by simplifying content licensing and harmonising online payments access.

Here are the upcoming key planks in Europe’s big digital content policy project in 2012…

  • Q1: Legislation will be proposed by EC to simplify cross-border content licensing.
  • January: EC “will restart a dialogue among industry stakeholders on copyright levies”. Most states charge a levy on gadgets that can copy content, driving up technology prices. Hardware makers oppose it (UK is exempt). Legislation planned for 2013.
  • H1: Revision of the Directive on enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED), which will address online piracy.
  • Early 2012: EC will publish an action plan to boost e-commerce, including by making online payments affordable and secure across borders.

In the UK, many of these points were already addressed by Professor Ian Hargreaves’ Review Of Intellectual Property And Growth, every recommendation of which the government has pledged to implement in order to simplify IP law for the digital and to make economic stimulus.

Recommended measures include creating a Digital Copyright Exchange, enabling automatic licensing of orphan works, decriminalising format-shifting and backing the EC’s cross-border licensing drive.

The Digital Copyright Exchange, a service from which online services can license content, will undergo creation in 2012.