Brussels, 20th July 2016
After a busy period for the cultural and creative sectors, we’re looking forward to the summer break. Yet we’re well aware that some people in Brussels will still be hard at work, putting the final touches to the Commission’s plans for its second package of copyright-related proposals.
Over the past few months, our members have been busy making themselves heard, compiling studies that make clear the potential implications of weakening copyright protection and undermining territorial exclusivity, notably for audiovisual works and for the sports audiovisual ecosystem: audiences would lose out not only in terms of reduced variety of production, but also in terms of reduced quality.
Likewise, our members have been making the case that including copyright-protected content in the Geo-blocking Regulation would risk causing a reduction in the diversity of offerings in many creative sectors – the opposite of what we all want to achieve. We think that the Portability Regulation – with the appropriate safeguards to preserve the principle of territoriality – is the right tool to help increase audiences’ enjoyment of creative content, and would not want it undermined by ill-conceived changes on other fronts, in particular the possible application to online services of the principles enshrined in the Satellite and Cable Directive, and especially its Country of Origin principle.
We will also continue to make the case that any change to the current regime of exceptions and limitations to copyright needs to be justified by a sound economic and legal analysis. We think that the current rules, together with a wide variety of business practices, provide flexibility to innovate and find new ways to meet consumer demand, and give national governments the scope to respect their individual legal traditions and pursue policies suited to their country’s circumstances.
Come September, all these issues will be at the top of the political agenda in Brussels, and you can be sure that we’ll be very active in promoting informed debate between decision makers, the creative and cultural sectors and other stakeholders. On 12th October, together with the Creative & Cultural Industries Intergroup in the European Parliament and the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU, we’ll bring together high-level figures from politics and the creative industries to discuss the pressing questions around the sectors, and look at what they mean for Europe’s digital future.
We hope you can join us for the discussion then. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!