Twenty European Associations signed a high-level one page paper highlighting the value of copyright for the European Economy, jobs and innovation.
See below the full statement or download it here.
Copyright Fuels Europe’s Economy and Culture
In the decade following its adaptation to the Internet, Europe’s copyright framework has fuelled a surge of creativity, helped launch innovative business models, and led to an unprecedented offer of films, music, TV-programmes, apps, games, books, magazines and newspapers for Europe’s citizens. This European success story must be protected from efforts to erode the fundamental rights of creators, producers and investors in creation. Three core points in support of this conclusion are offered below.
1. EU Copyright Is a Success – It Creates Jobs, Pays Taxes, and Nourishes Innovative Online Business Models That Support Europe’s Culture.
Copyright is a cornerstone of the digital economy, supporting sectors that generate more than 7 million jobs in Europe and that drive interest in the Internet and new technologies. Legal services are flourishing and helping Internet companies grow. The current EU copyright regime is an engine for growth. It should be supported and strengthened.
The Commission’s public consultation and the studies commissioned in this context confirm the success of this area of European law. This includes the CRA study on territoriality, which illustrates that the current offers by digital services meet consumer demand. This demand is often based on local tastes, cultures and languages. The study also states that services have the inbuilt flexibility needed to address potentially emerging future demands. There is no evidence why copyright should be weakened.
2. Copyright, a Right to Property, Is a Fundamental Right.
The need to carve out commercially attractive uses of other people’s creative works, which has been suggested in discussions to widen exceptions, has not been justified. Weakening copyright for the sake of other commercial interests would be a forced wealth transfer, to the benefit of certain companies dominating the Internet and to the detriment of Europe’s creators. Weakening copyright means weakening Europe’s economy and culture. It would diminish the value of creative works currently sought out by the public, and it would deprive the EU of one of its greatest strengths in the world today: the creativity of its citizens.
Copyright is a fundamental right and must be protected and respected. It is imperative that technology companies and other players in the market, such as Internet intermediaries and news aggregators, whose activities have a major impact on the sustainability of the creative sector, are required to be more accountable in the creation value chain and the economy.
3. Simplistic Sounding Solutions Can Mask Fundamentally Dangerous Side-Effects.
Exclusive rights, freely contracted, are at the core of copyright and must be preserved. They have led to the booming digital creative economy, and they are what creators depend on. Attempts to create loopholes for businesses unwilling to pay for the creative content that makes their services shine should not be tolerated, as these will harm creators and consumers. Licensing solutions should always be the priority, and licenses now enable many uses. Contractual freedom and technology offer innovative opportunities that can be more effective than anachronistic solutions.