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Agreement on a Directive on orphan works

06-06-2012 16:12:00

To day the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission agreed on a Directive that makes it possible for cultural institutions to give access to Europe’s cultural heritage across borders in the EU.

Minister for Culture, Uffe Elbæk, states:

”I am content and proud that we during the Danish Presidency have succeded in agreeing on a Directive on orphan works. The Directive will make it possible to disseminate Europe’s fantastic cultural heritage across borders in the EU. With this Directive we have found a flexible solution whereby the cultural institutions will have the possibility to digitise works protected by copyright and where it has not been possible to find the rights holders, and make these works available on the Internet. The solution will benefit all of us – the citizens of Europe, the public service cultural institutions and the rights holders.”

Minister for Business and Growth, Ole Sohn, states:

”The agreement is another step during the Danish Presidency towards establishing a well-functioning digital single market. In order to establish a well-functioning digital single market it is important that creative content is available on the internet across boarders in the EU. The agreement contributes to that. I will Friday continue the discussions on establishing a well-functioning digital single market with my colleagues in Luxemburg”

The directive makes it possible for public service cultural institutions, e.g. museums, libraries, broadcasteres etc. To digitise certain types of orphan works (works protected by copyright and where it has not been possible to find the rights holders) and make them available on the internet without consent from the rights holders. The system is based on mutual recognition across borders in the EU.

The Commission put forward its proposal for a Directive on orphan works in May 2011. The proposal has been negotiated between the EU Member States. The political agreement is subject to approval by the European Parliament, the Commission, and the Council.

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Chief Press Officer, Astrid Haug, Ministry of Culture, mobile +45 25 47 21 07

Head of Copyright Division, Bente Skovgaard Kristensen, Ministry of Culture, mobile +45 51 88 67 69

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