In a joint statement international copyright scholars, practitioners and civil society activists urge a novel approach to compensating authors for the online use of their works.
The "Berlin Declaration" calls for an indirect compensation that has been time-tested for private copying since decades. Users would pay a flatrate for the right to share, and the online collecting society would pay authors and publishers according to the measured use of their works - without setting up a surveillance-system such as mandatory for Digital Rights Management (DRM).
- DRM and mass-prosecution of filesharers are not solutions acceptable to an open and equitable society.
- Primary goal of copyright lawmaking must be a balance between the rights of creators and those of the public.
- Collecting societies need to become more democratic, transparent and flexible, allowing their members to release their works under open-access, non-commercial licenses.
- With the collecting societies suitably reformed, the successful European experience with exceptions and limitations compensated by levies should be reviewed for possible application to the on-line realm.
- We urge the European Commission to consider a content flatrate to ensure compensation of rightsholders without control over users.
The Declaration is available on the website of the "Wizards of OS" conference here.
It has now been included in the EU Commission's list of 98 out of 106 contributions submitted to COM(2004)261 final, authorised for publication.
Starting in the next days, signatures for the Declaration will be collected Europe-wide on this webpage until the draft of the EU Directive on collective rights management is issued.
The "Berlin Declaration" is an response to a Consultation by the European Commission on the on collective rights management. Interested circles were invited in a letter by Jörg Reinbothe (Head of Copyright Unit, European Commission Internal Market DG) to commit their statements on Collectively Managed Online Rights until June, 21th.
- European Commission Communication on management of copyright and related rights in the Internal Market
- European Parliament Report on a Community framework for collecting societies for authors’ rights (2002/2274(INI)), A5-0478/2003, Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market, Rapporteur: Raina A. Mercedes Echerer, 11 December 2003
- Hearing on Collective Management, Brussels, 13-14 November 2000
A coalition of german civil society organisations in a statement in the ongoing digital copyright legislation also suggests a content flatrate. The Statement "Kompensation ohne Kontrolle" is adressed to the federal minister of justice.
- Europe demands open-to-all DRM tech, by Tony Smith, The Register, 20th April 2004
- Bernt Hugenholtz, Lucie Guibault & Sjoerd van Geffen, The Future of Levies in a Digital Environment, Final Report, Institute of Information Law, University of Amsterdam, March 2003
- Martin Kretschmer, Digital Copyright: The End of an Era, European Intellectual Property Review (2003): pp. 333-341
- Martin Kretschmer, The Failure of Property Rules in Collective Administration: Rethinking copyright societies as regulatory instruments, European Intellectual Property Review (EIPR) Issue 24(3) 2002: 126-137
- Speech on Rights management by Mr Thomas Dreier, Copyright Conference, Santiago de Compostela, 16-18 June 2002
- Kultur-Flatrate statt Knast, Oliver Moldenhauer, Spiegel Online, 22. Juli 2004
- Fünf Euro als Schutz gegen den Staatsanwalt, Clemens Lerche, politik-digital.de, 15.07.2004
- Flatrate für Filesharing? Weil digitales Rechtemanagement versagt, hilft nur noch die Pauschalvergütung, fordert eine "Berliner Erklärung", Alfred Krüger, Telepolis, 22.06.2004
- «Flatrate» für Online-Musik gefordert, Netzzeitung, 15. Jun 2004 09:23
- Flatrate für Musikdownloads. Netzbürgerrechtler und Onlinerechtsexperten fordern Pauschaltarif für Online-Musik, Institut für Urheber- und Medienrecht, 15.06.2004
- WOS3: "Berliner Erklärung" fordert Musik-Flatrate fürs Internet Stefan Krempl, heise online, News 14.06.2004
- WOS3: EU soll Musik-Flatrate einführen. Berliner Deklaration für ein alternatives Vergütungssystem, golem.de, Networld, 12.06.2004