Right2Remix: A Campaign For European Copyright Reform
from the worth-trying dept
Back in February we reported on a welcome move by the Dutch government to modify its copyright law so that creative remixes are permitted. A new initiative called right2remix.org wants to make that a Europe-wide change:
The initiative right2remix.org calls for European lawmakers to adopt remix rights in European copyright legislation. On this portal, the German civil rights organisation Digitale Gesellschaft e. V., who launched the initiative, explains: "We live in an age of remix. Creativity and culture have always drawn from previous works, but with the Internet and digital technologies, the creative re-use of works has been taken to a whole new level. More people are able to edit and share a greater range of works than ever before."
The campaign has a short manifesto and a petition, as well as a suggested route to achieving its goals. This would be to add additional exceptions, including the right to remix, to Article 5 of the EU Copyright Directive, which already lists the possible exceptions and limitations to copyright. EU countries could then modify their national laws to legalize many everyday online activities that currently infringe copyrights. Here are couple of right2remix.org' s other suggestions:
Extended quotation rights: Currently, quotation rights are generally very narrowly defined, and do not extend to all types of works, excluding, for example, movies. Furthermore, ancillary copyrights often prevent the quotation of existing works, as is the case with samples of musical works, for instance. A reform of quotation rights is overdue and needs to account for different types of works and quotations.
Those might seem overly-bold objectives, but the main driving force behind right2remix.org includes some of the people that led the European revolt against ACTA last year, and look what happened there....
Redefine the boundaries of free usage: Creators should be permitted to use works as an inspiration, as long as the borrowings are secondary to the individuality of the new work. However, the remix, by definition, preserves at least part of the originality of the quoted work, though this does not mean that the remix is less original. The originality of a work should be assessed independently from the question whether the inspirational works are still recognizable. Particularly in musical works, we call for the legalization of samples, which in case of commercial use could be compensated using compulsory licensing models.