On 24th May, Commissioner Michel Barnier presented the European Commission Communication for a "Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe". http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/docs/ipr_strategy/COM_2011_287_en.pdf
The document aims at creating a "comprehensive framework for digital copyright" and calls on authors to receive a fair return when others use their work. It calls on a European framework for online licensing to enable a wider range of online services available in more than one country. The document includes proposals for the development of multi-territorial collective management with a focus on cross-border rights management, collective management governance and transparency. It announces a new directive proposal on orphan works published the same day and a future stakeholder working group on copyright levies.
Importantly, the Communication clearly ackowledges that journalists are authors and their work is important not only because they report, comment on and interpret the world we live in but also because freedom of the press is living testimony to Europe's pluralistic and democratic society. Protecting authors' rights for journalists and ensuring that they maintain a say over how their works are exploited is therefore central to maintaining independent, high-quality and professional journalism.