The statement of the Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt:Polska on the Proposal for a directive of the European Commision on collective management of copyright and related rights

Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt:Polska (Centrum Cyfrowe) welcomes the European Commission’s (Commission or EC) Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market (Directive or Project).


The Project keeps in line with Centrum Cyfrowe’s goal to reform the copyright for the needs of information society. It applies indirectly to the most important issue of the copyright system which lies at the meeting point of new technologies and copyright itself: non-commercial file-sharing. It is essential to underline that effective and transparent collective management is the basis for many (if not all) of proposed models of regulating the file-sharing. Commission raises that: “technology, the fast-changing character of digital bussiness models and the rising autonomy of Internet users require constant evaluation of current copyright regulations to assure that those entitled, users and consumers are given proper incentives to use opportunities that modern technologies provide and that they are able to use every one of them”. In summary: the Commission once again agrees that technology requires copyright changes and those changes are vital. At the same time, which gives hope that further changes will take place, it shows that the Project is just one of the many steps that the EC is willing to undertake to harmonize the problem of internal market licensing.

We believe that a directive regulating the way European collecting societies function and setting a framework for pan-European licensing of musical works is an important, however small, step towards tailoring the copyright of member states for modern technologies. We have no doubt that in the Internet era collective management must evolve towards multi-territorialism, ideally towards global range. However a complex accommodation of European law to function in the Internet era, including regulating the issue of non-commercial file sharing over the web, is needed. Collective management reform is just one of essential actions.

In this light we are happy that the presented Directive states that the Commission considers taking action to make license granting more efficient in general and is willing to update or further harmonize exceptions and limitations of copyright and related rights stated in the 2001/29/WE directive (“InfoSoc Directive”).

Besides the issues raised above we need to stress the need to consider exhaustion of rights when it comes to Internet dissemination of copies of digital works.

Within the general remarks we cannot overlook the fact that the Directive only regulates Internet multi-territorial licensing in regard to musical works and their copyright. This means that the Project does not concern related rights or any other works’ copyright.

The Commission notes that the need to regulate other rights is not as pressing. But it is quite the opposite. Centrum Cyfrowe reminds that for years now it has been raised that there is a need for complex licensing regulation of all copyright and related rights subjects on the Internet. We assess that the Commission’s actions are much too slow and fragmented.

We would also like to remind of the fact that we cannot lose sight of the interest of those, who should be in the center of attention of the collective management system – the individual artists and performing artists. In the Digital Era the European collective management system should be built in a way that will also take the works of individual Internet users into account. The Directive should propose a mechanism that will allow such users-creators actual participation in the system and being able to acquire financial gains from the works created on the Internet.

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