U.S. and European government officials are planning to hold a summit conference this summer in an effort to forge international copyright standards and address other Internet-related issues.
The meeting, scheduled to take place in Washington in late June, follows a two-day conference this week in Rome between U.S. officials and representatives of the European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union. This week's session produced "considerable progress toward standardizing the EC and U.S. legislation," the commission said in a statement today.
The two meetings are the first significant international sessions to negotiate online issues, which are becoming increasingly contentious as Internet usage continues to boom worldwide. The European Union's 15 member nations have succeeded in building at least skeletal standards on copyright regulation, making far more progress than the United States, where legislation is stalled in Congress at the subcommittee level.
The tentative agenda for the Washington summit calls for discussion of intellectual property rights and recent conflicts between the United States and China over alleged piracy of an estimated $2.3 billion of U.S. music, compact discs, and CD-ROM software.