On July 16, 2008 the European Commission published a so-called ‘forward looking package’ of legislative and policy initiatives in the field of Intellectual Property. The package mainly consists of a proposal to amend the Term Directive (Directive 2006/11/EC) and a Green Paper on ‘Copyright in the Knowledge Economy’. The proposal would extend the term of protection for recorded (musical) performances, both for performing artists and record producers, from fifty to ninety-five years. The Green Paper addresses distinct copyright issues, in particular exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives, and calls for comments from interested parties.
Most of the issues addressed in this ‘forward looking package’ were examined in great detail by the Institute for Information Law (IViR) in the course of two major studies that the Institute carried out for the European Commission in 2006 and 2007. Surprisingly, the proposal and the Green Paper almost completely ignore the IViR studies and the (often critical) analyses and recommendations contained therein. This has inspired Professor P. Bernt Hugenholtz, Director of the Institute for Information Law, to write an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Dr. Barroso.
In 2006 and 2007, IViR produced two major studies
on EU copyright law and policy: