On Tuesday, June 15th, we celebrated our 10th anniversary with an online birthday party. For those of you who were unable to attend we have now published a recording of the event:
To kick off the festivities, we reviewed the 14 policy recommendations that COMMUNIA issued 10 years ago to see what happened to them over the past decade (from 00:03 to 00:21 in the recording). As it turns out a fair number of them have been at least partially – or even fully – implemented, in many cases thanks to advocacy work that we and our partners have done
For the second part of the event, we brought together three friends from academia who have influenced our work in important ways to reflect on COMMUNIA’s work.
First, Prof. Juan Carlos de Martin (Politecnico di Torino and founding father of the COMMUNIA project) reflected on what makes COMMUNIA a unique community which started 15 years ago as an EU-funded network and that continues the importance of public funding for communities advocating for the public interest to this day.
His intervention was followed by Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz (University of Amsterdam) who stressed that public interest copyright advocacy remains needed for the decade to come. In particular, he highlighted the need to ensure copyright exemptions for all public works and databases in the EU.
Finally, Prof. Pamela Samuelson (University of California, Berkeley) reminded the audience of the urgency of reviving the general interest in the public domain, which sometimes feels detached from society. In this context, she encouraged us to revive the interest for flexible exceptions to copyright in Europe.
After these contributions, Marco Giorello, the long-time Head of the European Commission’s Copyright Unit shared his thoughts on the future of European copyright policy (from 00:47 to 01:00 in the recording). As part of his intervention, he pointed out that the struggles connected to Article 17 of the DSM Directive are only the beginning of a much larger challenge to redefine the relationship between fundamental rights and automated copyright enforcement.
The event concluded with a panel discussion on the future of the EU copyright policy (from 01:01 in the recording). Catherine Stihler (Creative Commons) expressed hope for a more unified civic voice defending the Public Domain as we’re entering the next policy cycle (from 01:02 to 01:06 in the recording). Melanie Dulong de Rosnay (Centre Internet et Société CIS-CNRS), argued that strategic litigation is a crucial form of copyright advocacy, an area in which we haven just taken first steps (from 01:07 to 01:15 in the recording). Finally, Julia Reda (Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte) highlighted the need for public copyright registration systems to ensure the protection of the public domain, users rights and to ensure fairer remuneration flows in the online environment (from 01:17 to 01:24 in the recording).
We are grateful to all the speakers for their contributions and to everyone who celebrated our birthday with us. The discussion showed that our efforts to promote the public domain have borne fruit, yet we still have a long way to go. The event has shed a light on some of the policy challenges on which we should focus in the upcoming decade.