European Commission Consultation

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Response to the European Commission's Public Consultation on Copyright Reform

The public consultation closes Wednesday, the 5th of February 2014

Information on the public consultation

Within the European Union, copyright is regulated by a 2001 Directive that each member state is committed to transpose into their national legal framework.

For the third time in as many years the European Commission has launched a public consultation on copyright in the European internal market. Despite the unambiguous signal sent by civil society and Members of the European Parliament through the rejection of the ACTA treaty in 2012, the Commission continues to fail to place the fundamental cultural right of individuals at the heart of copyright reform. La Quadrature du Net calls on all citizens and organisations to submit a response to this public consultation in order to scrutinise the current approach and to push proposals that are in favour of a positive reform of copyright adapted to the digital environment.

Divorced from their citizen's expectations, the main objective of the European Commission in this consultation remains “whether further measures […] need to be taken at EU level […] to increase the cross-border availability of content services in the Single Market, while ensuring an adequate level of protection for right holders”. Furthermore, the Commission places this consultation within the same process as Licences for Europe which was met with failure last November. This public consultation continues to propose simple contractual solutions to the challenges presented by the digital environment whereas a revision of the basic principles of copyright law enshrined in the 2001/29 Directive is today more than ever in order.

The Questionnaire

The European Commission has dedicated a website to this public consultation on which you will find a lot of practical information and the consultation questionnaire itself. The questionnaire is 36 pages long and includes 80 questions ... No need to be intimidated: There is no requirement to reply to all questions, and we advise you against following the proposed guidelines. Reply freely according to your own experiences and preoccupations.

How to submit your answer?

The European Commission has committed itself to consider all submissions. It is essential that the maximum number of citizens write to the Commission to emphasise that it is a mistake to take the current approach and encourage them to aim for a positive copyright reform that is adapted to contemporary cultural practices.

The public consultation official ends on Wednesday, the 5th of February 2014, but a politely phrased email with the reponse attached will probably be accepted even a few days late.

To submit a response to the consultation on the Commissions' report on copyright:

(Add us as blind copy BCC ( so that we have an idea of the number of reponses submitted!)

  • You can reply to the consultation in any language of the EU.
  • Your response can be as long or short as you want.
  • You do not need to reply to all questions. Choose the ones that most concern you.
  • Once you completed the questionnaire, attach it to an email and send it off :)

If you experience any problems don't hesitate to ask for help by sending an email to or on the IRC channel of La Quadrature.

Relevant websites and resources

The propositions by La Quadrature du Net on copyright reform

After the rejection of ACTA by the European Parliament, La Quadrature du Net elaborated a positive copyright reform proposal that focuses on the recognition of the rights of the individual to use and share cultural products, while proposing the new ways to finance creativity and innovation.

La Quadrature du Net developed a response to the Commission's questionnaire based on the following points. You may use these when preparing your own response.

La Quadrature du Net places their proposals at the service of the European citizen:

      • NEED LINKS HERE***

Objectives The components of a reform 1. Giving legal recognition to the non-market sharing of digital works between individuals through the exhaustion of rights doctrine 2. Legitimacy of referring and linking 3. Solid exceptions for educational and research practices 4. Library and archive rights to make available orphan works free-of-charge and with wide use rights 5. Freedom of non-market collective use 6. Resource pooling: new financing sources adapted to digital culture and its many contributors and projects 7. Legal requirements for fair publishing and distribution contracts 8. A preventive competition policy against distribution monopolies and their abuse 9. Reform of collective management 10. Keeping pollution by advertising under control 11. Effective norms for the enforcement of network neutrality 12. Compulsory registration or copyright 2.0 13. Cultural public funding and tax reform 14. A positive statute for the public domain and the voluntary commons Notes

Further Resources

Several organisation offer helpful resources to reply to the questionnaire.

Responses adapted to your situation

Copyright law looks like a complex subject and distant from your daily preoccupations. But a growing number of citizens are directly affected by it on a daily basis. We propose this guide that breaks down relevant issues according to your relationship to the internet. Click on the link that corresponds most to your situation.

Model Responses

The most effective responses will be those that are written by an individual and represent their experience and preoccupations. Generic responses sent by several citizens might not be taken into account and might give the impression that their senders don't accord sufficient importance on the subject to take the time to write their own personal message. Having said this, do not hesitate to read the model responses proposed by websites in "Further resources" and the ones below, in help you gather ideas on how to write your own reply. Moreover you are warmly encouraged to add your own response to this site.

  • Response 1
  • Response 2

Spread the Word

The impact of our message is relative to the number of reponses by citizens received. The more numerous, the more our message will be heard. Mention this consultation and the importance of responding to it to everyone you know, start a campaign... all means are justified in order to spread the word!