EU Copyright policy
EU Copyright policy is out-dated and in danger of stifling innovation.
There is a huge amount to debate and discuss in this area, some important questions (and thoughts) include:
How to balance the right of citizens, artists, publishers, and service providers?
The important question which underlies much of this is: what is the value of a piece of content? As the costs of production and distribution fall to zero in the digital age, the economics of content creation are changing dramatically. Many have argued that a clear and transparent market for digital rights could be a solution to determining prices.
One of the problems in the digital music space is that collecting societies (who collect royalties for artists and labels) are de facto monopolies. This is then aggravated by the fact that rights are split up by territory and each of the 27 countries in the EU has their own monopolies.
How can we make progress and avoid zero-sum situations and stalemates?
The upside of the digital age is that we can track and report accurately on all content consumption (rather than random sampling). This could form the basis of a digital copyright exchange, as proposed by Prof. Hargreaves in a recent government review here in the UK. If there was a clear and legal pan-European framework to license digital content, the number of new entreprises could blossom and this would be the biggest challenger to piracy. The difficulty is in convincing the rights owners to embrace the new technological developments, and building a framework which works across multiple territories.
Which are inspiring examples of successful business models for managing online content, and the most suitable regulations that you are aware of?
In the USA there is a collecting society called SoundExchange whose rates and rules have been decided by Congress. This provides a stable legal framework for companies like Pandora to grow on. The only downside is that the legislation / rules have a hard time keeping up with technological developments (eg mobile).
Here in the UK, Pearson (a publisher who owns FT, Penguin, etc) are keen to push for a digital rights exchange model, and I think that they exploring implementing one soon.
One final regulation / legal development that is very forward thinking is the Creative Commons framework pioneered by Larry Lessig.