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Copyright Reform: EU Commission Must Rapidly Publish Responses to Consultation

Paris, 7 March 2014 — The European Commission's Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules closed on 5 March 2014 (LQDN's answer). It is now essential for the Commission to publish as soon as possible all responses to ensure a transparent policy-making process.

On the original end date of the Copyright consultation on 4 February 2014, the consultation had received around 2 500 responses but the end total – as the Commission stated on twitter – was above 11 000, an all-time record for a EU consultation.

After the wide-ranging mobilisation against the ACTA trade agreement two years ago, this is more evidence that the question of copyright is an essential debate that concerns all citizens. The challenge posed by the need to adapt copyright legislation to the digital environment must not lead to increasingly repressive systems and criminalisation of a large segment of the creative public nor lead to stifling innovation in the EU. Instead it must promote the cultural rights both of creators and of their public.

To ensure trust in the post-consultation process, La Quadrature du Net calls on the Commission to publish the responses as soon as possible. In a recent exchange of messages, the Commission stated that they would “try to publish the raw contributions ASAP”. This publication would allow civil society actors the opportunity to analyse these in parallel to the Commission's own internal analysis and thus contribute to the ongoing debate on copyright reform. If the Commission's analysis was published before the responses however, doubts with regard to the analysis' interpretation of the responses would be likely to undermine the legitimacy of the Commission's response.

La Quadrature du Net invites everyone to stay informed about copyright reform, on how it impacts their lives and what positions political representatives are taking on the matter. This is especially important in the context of the European Parliament elections at the end of May. For information on how to contact your representatives and how to ensure that the next EU Parliament protects civil and cultural rights on the Internet, visit wepromise.eu.