Copyright and related rights in the Information Society and future EC action in this field will be the focus of an international conference on "Copyright and related rights on the threshold of the 21st century" in Florence, Italy, on 2-4 June 1996. It is organized by the European Commission in cooperation with the Italian Presidency and the Tuscany Region. The event forms part of the consultation process which began in July 1995 with the adoption of the Commission's Green Paper on copyright and related rights in the Information Society. The Green Paper examines how best to ensure adequate protection of creativity and the proper functioning of the single market, while taking account of the impact of developments such as digitalization, interactivity and multimedia. Although Community legislation on intellectual property rights (IPRs) already provides a robust foundation for the legal protection of works distributed over the information highway, there is a range of other key issues not covered by existing Community IPR Directives. It is these issues which are examined in the Green Paper. The consultation process established the need for further Community legislation in this area, and possible future EC action in a number of priority areas including the legal regime applicable to digital transmissions and reproduction rights. The conference will provide an opportunity to stress the importance of international cooperation for the development of legislation on copyright and neighbouring rights and the need to reach at international level, under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agreement to protect works and other matters (phonograms, audio and audiovisual performances) in the Information Society. High-level representatives of industry, the Member States, third countries including Central and East European countries, international organizations and rightholders will attend the conference. The conclusions of the conference will be taken into account by the Commission in a communication to the other institutions due in autumn 1996, detailing the actions to be taken in response to the advent of the Information Society and the new technological environment.