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Internal Market

PR(06)27: Liechtenstein fails to implement rules on copyright in the information society


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today delivered a reasoned opinion to Liechtenstein because of the failure to implement Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. The Directive should have been implemented in national law by 1 August 2005.

The objective of Directive 2001/29/EC is to adapt legislation on copyright and related rights to reflect technological developments. The Directive harmonises the rights of reproduction, distribution and communication to the public, the legal protection of anti-copying devices and rights management systems. The Directive also makes international obligations arising from two treaties on copyright and related rights[1] part of the EEA Agreement.

Particular novel features of the Directive include:

  • a mandatory exception for technical copies on the net for network operators in certain circumstances;
  • an exhaustive, optional list of exceptions to copyright which includes private copying;
  • the introduction of the concept of fair compensation for rightholders; and
  • a mechanism to secure the benefit for users where anti-copying devices are in place.

The purpose of the Authority's reasoned opinion is to give Liechtenstein a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. Liechtenstein has been given three months to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion.

[1] The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, adopted within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in December 1996.

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Hallgrímur Ásgeirsson
Director, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 60

21 June 2006

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