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Upcoming webinar (21 April): Flexible Copyright Exceptions II – What can we in Europe learn from the US?

The Knowledge Rights 21 project is organising a second webinar on open norms, or rather copyright exceptions and limitations in the form of open norms. This time, the focus will be on the American “fair use” doctrine, which is open principle-based. The webinar aims to understand how “fair use” supports education, research and technological development in ways that inflexible European copyright systems do not.

The webinar will take place on 21 April 2023 at 16:00 CET.

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Copyright exceptions and limitations play a crucial role in supporting innovation and scientific progress. In general, there are two approaches. The first is to set out general principles that users (and courts in the context of decision-making) can apply in existing and new situations. The second, which is used in European countries, is to set narrow definitions of exceptions, which allow users to carry out only predefined tasks. 

This inflexible approach to lawmaking in Europe brings significant obstacles to education, research and innovation. The fact is that copyright lawmaking is unable to keep pace with technological development, consequently the lack of flexibility in the norms is holding back technological and scientific progress.

What are the possibilities today, in the light of the European tradition, of returning to a more flexible model that encourages innovation, and what can we learn from analysing the American principle?