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Google books: Europe needs to get this right

Speaking at the EU Commission's Google Books hearing today, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

"We must not see this dispute as simply a process to deliver a compromise between two commercial interests.

"Instead we must ask how best to deliver the wealth of European and world literature – and other cultural works – to citizens

"European literature may shortly be more widely available in the US than in Europe. This would be ironic, regrettable and damaging to European cultures. It is also unnecessary

"We think we must now accept that there is something very wrong with EU copyright law. The incontrovertible evidence is that it needs substantial reform every time an innovative service using copyright works comes along

"Copyright, having acted as an economic incentive to production, is now acting in Europe as a barrier to commercial and academic availability

"We need a limitation to copyright to allow the search and indexing of copyright content.

"European economies need a much more flexible copyright regime, or we stand to lose out in culture, innovation and jobs."

 

Other key points:

  • The public needs Google Books or services like it
  • We need competition between services
  • Copyright licensing needs both licensor information and collective agreements
  • DRM needs regulatio
  • The public domain needs protecting
  • Academia needs the full benefits
  • And our European economies need a much more flexible copyright regime, or we stand to lose out in culture, innovation and jobs.