Copyright free Europe? EU parliamentary committee calls for ‘sharing without intellectual property rights’

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The ability to make and share content without having intellectual property rights may become reality if the EU parliamentary Committee on International Trade (INTA) continues following the lead of a pirate in its ranks.

The document entitled On a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy was released in September and is the brainchild of MEP Amelia Andersdotter, the sole member of the Swedish Pirate party on the INTA.

In outlining the INTA’s recommendations to the EU committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the paper strikes a populist tone by expressing its awareness “that some people increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what lies behind it.”

It recognizes that intellectual property rights (IPR) are a driver for innovation, growth and job creation, and calls on more global cooperation in order to “uphold and modernize intellectual property rights in the future.”

As the dossier expresses “regrets” over “the losses incurred by European entrepreneurs” in the absence of a clearly defined IPR regime, the committee’s next recommendation seemingly comes out of left field:

[The INTA] Calls on the Member States and the Commission to develop IPR policy in order to continue to allow those who wish to create their own content and share it without acquiring IPR to do so.”

Tech Dirt immediately hailed the language, saying “an official document from the important trade committee of the European Parliament is calling for the option to create without copyright being attached.”

As the only directly elected European institution, a recommendation stemming from an EU parliamentary committee could in fact have very real consequences for the future of Europe’s attitude towards a more liberal IPR regime.

Andersdotter herself is no stranger to navigating the often treacherous waters of the EU, as the 25-year-old already convinced the parliamentary committee on Industry, Research, and Energy to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) this past summer. Her push to reject ACTA was later followed by the INTA and ultimately the entire EU parliament.

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