EUscreenXL’s objective is to provide online access to audiovisual archives and collections. EUscreen as a foundation represents its members. It voices the opinion of audiovisual archives in complex discussions about copyright regimes and copyright reform by advocating for widespread and equal access to Europe’s audiovisual heritage. A few months ago, we reported on the dialogue Licenses for Europe, in which a dedicated Audiovisual-Heritage Working Group took part. Shortly afterwards, in December 2013, the European Commission announced a Consultation of the review of EU copyright rules.

The aim of the consultation was to ‘gather input from all stakeholders’ and was sent out to individuals, institutions, companies and lobby groups alike. The EU identified a broad set of areas in the copyright rules to be discussed, among which territoriality in the Single Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age, and others. The consultation is an important step in a conversation about copyright and an impressive 11.117 contributions were received. One of these was the contribution from EUscreenXL, as the questionnaire contained many topics relating to the barriers and benefits of bringing audiovisual heritage online. In relevant cases EUscreen aligned it’s response with the views as phrased in the Europeana response in this stakeholder dialogue. Some partners of the project, such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Ina and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, prepared a separate response. All the position papers sent in will soon be available from the European Commission’s website.

Over next years EUscreen will actively contribute  to the debate on copyright reform. In May, we’re coming together with experts at the Europeana headquarters to discuss these topics for audiovisual archives – let us know if you’d like to be part of the discussion. We will further advocate for harmonisation of EU copyright rules so audiovisual archives can improve online and on-site access to their collections  in these rapidly changing environments. We are looking forward to the outcomes of the consultation and to continuing this important dialogue. You can find and download our response here.

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