The European Publishers Council (EPC), representing the owners and CEOs of leading newspaper, magazine, book, online and database publishers in Europe, has succeeded in getting its idea for 21st century copyright management accepted as one of just seven “Big Ideas” sought by the European Commission to forward its Digital Agenda strategy.

The EPC’s “Big Idea”, entitled “The answer to the machine is in the machine,” centres on the need for the management of modern day copyright on the internet to be machine-mediated and for a human and machine-readable “digital copyright symbol” that will link users to human and machine-readable copyright statements, licences, e-commerce engines and other information on re-use of content to be designed and used as widely as the © has been since the early 1900s.

This idea follows on from the publishers’ ongoing assertion that copyright law is fit for purpose but the mechanisms for managing and communicating copyright online need to be updated.

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