EU leaders call for copyright reform
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EU leaders call for copyright reform

Twelve heads of government have called for urgent action to reform copyright in a letter to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

In a letter setting out what is needed to stimulate economic growth in Europe ahead of a meeting next week, the leaders identify eight priorities.

One of these is creating a digital single market by 2015.

“The digital economy is expanding rapidly but cross-border trade remains low and creativity is stifled by a complex web of differing national copyright regimes,” says the letter.

Among the actions they say are needed are simplifying licensing and building an efficient framework for copyright: “We should build on the recent proposals of the Commission, without reopening the e-commerce directive, to create a system that balances the interests of consumers, businesses and rights holders, and spurs innovation, creative activity and growth.”

The letter is signed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Prime Minister Mario Monti, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Prime Minister Petr Nečas, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Another of the eight priorities is redoubling the commitment to innovation by establishing the European Research Area.

“Reforms to create an effective and business-friendly system of intellectual property protection remain a very high priority,” say the leaders. However, the letter contains no specific reference to patents or the proposed unitary patent.

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