- European harmonisation of exceptions to copyright law (so-called barrier regulations) for the use of copyright-protected works in the sciences. This concerned, in particular, the use of databases in research (Text and Data Mining – TDM). Furthermore, harmonised exceptions for educational and cultural heritage institutions were to be developed. A Directive for dealing with orphan works, i.e. sources, literature and pictorial works whose authors are unknown, was already in place in 2012. As part of the revised copyright law reform, extended regulations were to be developed in connection with the out-of-commerce rule, which has long been used in practice – an assumption that many works, e.g. those created for political demonstrations or used within a family context (photography), were never created for commercial use, but are of interest today for historical documentation. The main purpose of these regulations is to be able to provide better opportunities for digital publication and exhibition work for the so-called GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums).
- Regulations and a balance between platforms and exploiters of rights, creatives and users in order to counter the value gap, i.e. the turnover gap of many creative individuals online (this is the issue that almost exclusively dominated the media debate). The background to this is the market-leading position of online advertising in search engines and ‘social networks’, as well as the major video-sharing platforms and, of course, the growing convergence of the media, which includes the news, new broadcasting formats and user-generated online channels.
- Better copyright contract law. This relates to improving the negotiating power of creatives through collection management organisations and other exploiters of rights having more transparency obligations. The bestseller clause, which had long been practised in the USA, was new. If a commercially unsuccessful work suddenly becomes well known after some years in other contexts – e.g. the theme tune of a television series – there should ultimately be a right of renegotiation. Another important aspect of copyright contract law are the rules for dispute resolution.
In all three areas, contradictory (e.g. in relation to the eCommerce Directive), inadequate and complicated requirements of the revised Copyright Directive are the starting point for future legislation which is to be implemented in the various countries. At the same time, there is room for manoeuvre and therefore not only risks, but also opportunities, which we can enhance through an intensive debate.