News from the Pisa Internet Festival. Copyright, Data Protection, Internet of Things, ICT and artificial intelligence… are joining together in Pisa this week-end.

Today I have participated to the Festival Opening Panel, during which we discussed the future of copyright in the digital economy, together with Claudio Giua, Mario Bonafé and Patrizio Menchetti.

Here are some takeaways:

  • the business paradigm is shifting in all industries, with companies transforming into content providers, and now becoming also data managers. Data is becoming an asset as important as content, with OTT and social media playing a fundamental intermediation role. Content providers face fierce competition. Whilst there are new bundle and itemized offers, a number of content providers (including publishers) are still struggling to find the “right balance” for steady growth (or simply survival);
  • within this new scenario, some commentators stated that copyright regulations may no longer be adequate to ensure the “right balance”. However there are no concrete alternatives that would ensure a more effective protection for the authors, thus ensuring a real cultural diversity in the digital era. After all, also the creative commons and open source initiatives are based on copyright principles;
  • ertain measures would be required to ensure that copyright is in line with the current technology development. Besides a wider harmonization, it may be considered a review of the duration of the protection granted to authors, taking into account the average economic cycles, the reintroduction of an (automated) registration processes that would provide certainty as to which works are protected, the simplification (and clarification) of the fair use regulations and exceptions (particularly for civil law jurisdictions, like Italy), etc. The current review being carried out at an European level is no doubt a great opportunity to further modernize the overall framework.