Copyright under review in Europe

The European Commission are running a public consultation on the future of copyright and they’re asking everyone – which includes comic creators – to get involved.

The full consultation, which ends on 5th March 2014, is here: http://youcan.fixcopyright.eu

The Open Rights Group, set up  to preserve and promote your rights in the digital age says this could be a really exciting opportunity to reshape the way culture and technology interact in the digital age, but, at the same time, some of the Internet’s most fundamental building blocks could be under threat.

“We’ve got the chance to reform copyright to remove some of the restrictions on what we can do with digital products that we purchase< says the organisation. “And we can change copyright terms to help put copyrighted works into the public domain sooner so they can be re-used in all sorts of creative ways.

“The copyright consultation gives us a big opportunity to tell the European Commission how to improve copyright.

“Unfortunately, the consultation could also put crucial functions of the Internet in jeopardy. It asks whether you should need the permission of the rights holder of a work before linking to that work or viewing it. If that happened, ordinary everyday web browsing would become a lot more complicated.

“Lobbyists from big rights holder groups are taking part in the conversation and telling the European Commission that we should have to get the authorisation of the rights holder before linking or viewing their work.

“If we don’t get involved, the Commission will just get the views of the large rights holder lobby.

• Tell the European Commission why browsing and viewing copyright works shouldn’t need the permission of the rights holder: www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/tell-europe-your-views-on-copyright

• The ORG is focusing its campaign on a small part of the consultation. The full EU consultation is here: http://youcan.fixcopyright.eu

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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