Magazine article Marketing

EC Proposals Cause Copyright Uproar

Magazine article Marketing

EC Proposals Cause Copyright Uproar

Article excerpt

Concern is mounting in the direct marketing and publishing industries over a proposed European Commission directive which could end copyright protection on electronically stored databases and lists.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which is uniting with the CBI to fight the move, the directive threatens a UK database industry worth $3bn.

The challenge arises because only the UK and Irish Republic within the EC give copyright protection to this type of activity. But the DMA, in an "issue paper" which it is mailing to its members this week, says this safeguard largely explains the success of the UK industry which now accounts for 60% of EC database business.

The proposals relate only to electronic databases, lists, and compilations of facts which are rented or sold.

"Any erosion of the legal protection presently available is a major concern," says the Automobile Association's group secretary, Colin Skeen. The proposals "could seriously effect future investment".

Richard Genochio, the DMA's chief executive, says the huge investment in major databases means that 50-year copyright protection is vital to justify the expenditure. …

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