Executives from news media, publishing, TV, film, music, IT and internet media businesses (see list here) have got together with existing standards and licensing organisations to work in coalition on a cross-media global project that will result in better and easier management of copyright in the online world.

The Linked Content Coalition (LCC) launches officially today, 25 April, on the eve of World Intellectual Property Day. Its remit is to work over the next 12 months to create the right conditions for a fully connected standards-based rights management and communications infrastructure. This will enable businesses and individuals to go with the grain of technology to manage their rights, and communicate information about them to users, much more effectively online.

Two key documents affecting online copyright- the IPR Strategy and the Draft directive on Orphan Works - are published by the European Commission this week, both incorporating ideas and proposals made by the European Publishers Council that will help sure up innovation and investment in the online content sectors. The EPC represents 29 chairmen and CEOs of leading European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine, book, journal, internet and online database publishers, and radio and TV broadcasting.

The IPR strategy, that also covers patents, trademarks, as well as copyright and an action plan against counterfeiting and piracy, includes reference to initiatives based on the EPC’s “Big Idea” on automated and integrated standards based rights management.

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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