As a consequence, libraries’ digital preservation activities remain illegal in some countries. This problem is further cemented by the fact that digital preservation often involves the making of multiple copies for backup purposes.
Educational institutions face similar challenges as regards the use of audiovisual material. Today’s technologies enable educational institutions to develop innovative ways of learning through the inclusion of audiovisual material in university online platforms. However, such innovations are severely hampered because universities frequently have to clear the copyrights for audiovisual content, which involves burdensome dialogues with right holders and collecting societies. This is a consequence of a lack of binding, cross-border exceptions for education and research purposes.
Artists highlighted the need for a new, integrated way for copyright clearance with low administrative barriers. New methods of rights management must encourage collaboration between rights holders and those who want to make use of protected works since the enforcement of the current regime proved impossible in practice. A new regime for rights management can be a force for creativity but only if it takes into account and adapts to societal and technological change.
After the 2008 Green Paper on copyright in the knowledge economy and its2009 follow-up Communication, the Commission is expected to present new proposals on collective management licenses, digital libraries, and audiovisual works in 2011. Against the background of these initiatives as well as current policy debates on a more flexible approach to copyright in Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK, it is important to frame the debate on the copyright regime not only in terms of protection and enforcement, but also in terms of exceptions and limitations for the benefit of society at large. All too often the discussions on a proper copyright regime in Europe revolve primarily around classical considerations, which makes it difficult to make progress on the shortcomings identified above. Furthermore, an IPR system that worked well in the analogue world is clearly facing barriers in the digital era.