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European Commission

Legal Aspects of Information Services and Intellectual
Property Rights in Central and Eastern Europe 
Conference 28 and 29 November 1994 Luxembourg


Flags of 15 EU Member States

Any opinions expressed in this study are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Commission

Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit

Namur

February 1995

I European Union cooperation policy with Central and Eastern European countries

II.European Union research and development policy

III.Telecommunications policy

IV Legal issues related to the information services

Conclusion

Introduction

On 28 and 29 of November 1994, a conference on the Legal Aspects of Information Services and Intellectual Property Rights in Central and Eastern Europe was held in Luxembourg. The conference was organised within the framework of the European Union's COPERNICUS programme which seeks, among other things, to assist the Central and Eastern European countries in research and development including in the area of the information market.

The overall objective of the conference was to enable the European Union policy makers and the Central and Eastern European countries to become aware of their respective policies, objectives, and measures and to examine more specifically the legal instruments which govern information services. Taking into account the existing Association and Co-operation agreements and with a view to the future integration of Central and Eastern European countries in the European Union, this conference is a step towards a closer co-operation between the European Union and the Central and Eastern European countries.

The conference gathered private actors such as practising lawyers, information service providers, consultants, telecommunication operators, university academics, professors and researchers from Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Rumania, and Bulgaria as well as experts from the European Union.

The first day started with a general presentation of the objectives of the conference and a description of the international institutional framework for the protection of information services and the international co-operation in intellectual property with an overall presentation of the Community's legal instruments to achieve a closer co-operation with the Central and Eastern European countries.

Commission officials and speakers from Central and Eastern European countries delivered more specific presentations on telecommunications policies including levels of deregulation and dismantling of monopolies and trends and on specific legal and intellectual property law issues related to the development of information services. These issues included the legal protection of computer programs and data bases, the legal protection of personal data, rules relating to evidence, computer related crime and the liabilities of information service providers. All these issues were identified as being important in the Bangemann report1 which calls for a global information society. By a decision of 12 December 1991, the Council adopted a programme for the establishment of an internal services market (Programme IMPACT 2, on Information Market Policy Actions, Decision 91/691/EEC, OJ Ndeg. L377, p. 41). The 1994 work programme put the focus on the improvement of the accessibility of information at the European level (INFO EURO ACCESS).

This report was drafted on the basis of information made available during the two day conference and the oral presentations from officials from the European Union and speakers2 from Central and Eastern European countries as well as from the contributions of the participants.

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