Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Berkman Paper On EUCD Implementation

The Berkman Center's Digital Media Project has published a new report on the implementation of the European Copyright Directive in the different member states: Transposing the Copyright Directive: Legal Protection of Technological Measures in EU-Member States.

I've been working on the INDICARE project for the last few months, writing the legal chapter of a State of the Art report, which has yet to be published. (Update The INDICARE report has been published [PDF].) It deals with the legal questions DRMs pose for consumers, or better, users. The European Copyright Directive (EUCD) plays a major role in it, specifically the tension between article 6 EUCD (protection of technological measures) and article 5 EUCD (copyright exemptions). It's legal framework is European community law. The Berkman paper takes a different angle, that deserved a thorough research. The Berkman papers have been excellent in the past, and on first glance, this one is too. (And it's nice to see that the INDICARE website has "proved to be useful in the context of the present research project".

Here is the abstract:

"In this paper, the Berkman Center's Digital Media Project team provides an overview of the current state of implementation of the European Union's Directive 2001/29/EC, better known as the EU Copyright Directive (EUCD), which seeks to harmonize the divergent European copyright regimes and to transpose the WIPO-treaties (see chart). The paper analyzes the ways in which EU member states have transposed the EUCD's provisions on the protection of technological measures (such as encryption, digital watermarking, copy-control technologies, etc.) into national law, and takes a closer look at the relevant definitions, exemptions, sanctions and remedies.

In essence, the paper demonstrates that EU member states continue to struggle with some of the thorniest problems already identified at the level of the EUCD, and leave it to the national courts and, ultimately, to the European Court of Justice not only to fine-tune the new legislation, but also to address and resolve rather fundamental issues related to the legal protection of technological measures. The paper suggests that the EUCD, in fact, has led to a certain level of harmonization of member states' laws, but also identifies and maps significant differences among member states in the field of anti-circumvention laws.

A linklist to international and national legislation on technological protection measures with focus on the relevant laws of EU member states has also been made available here by the Digital Media Project team. Links to other useful materials and sources are posted here. "

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Thru A Copyfighter's Musings


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