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IP in the mix: European Parliament adopts resolution on DLTs & blockchains

The European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative resolution on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchains. In the resolution, which was adopted last month, the Parliament emphasised that the EU has an opportunity to become “the global leader” in the field of DLT and to be a “credible actor” in shaping its development and markets globally. The resolution discusses potential benefits of DLT/blockchain in a range of sectors, including copyright, patent and data protection (alongside financial services, healthcare, transport, supply chain, education and energy).

Creative industries and copyright

22.  Underlines that for ‘digitalised’ creative content, DLT can enable the tracking and management of intellectual property and facilitate copyright and patent protection; emphasises that DLT can enable greater ownership and creative development by artists through an open public ledger that can also clearly identify ownership and copyright; highlights that DLT could help link creators to their work, thus enhancing safety and functionality in the context of a collaborative and open innovation ecosystem, especially in areas such as additive manufacturing and 3D printing;

23.  Notes that DLT might benefit authors by bringing more transparency and traceability to the use of their creative content, as well as cutting down on intermediaries, with regard to them receiving payment for their creative content;

While recognising that “the risks and problems of [DLT] technology are not yet completely known”, the resolution lists some of the DLT-based applications that could affect sectors of the economy and makes various recommendations. The resolution will now be considered by the European Commission.

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