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European copyright rules are out of date and require a major overhaul, European Union Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said Friday.
"Our fragmented copyright system... has ended up giving a more prominent role to intermediaries than to artists," Kroes said in the text of a speech delivered in Avignon, France. "It irritates the public who often cannot access what artists want to offer and leaves a vacuum which is served by illegal content, depriving the artists of their well deserved remuneration."
Kroes said the commission will examine divergent national private copyright levies. It will also investigate multi-territorial and pan-European licensing.
"Instead of a dysfunctional system based on a series of cultural Berlin walls, I want a return to sense," she said. A committee of experts, chaired by Maurice Levy, will report on possible solutions in early next year.
- By Frances Robinson, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 2 741 1486; email@example.com