Copyright Promotes Freedom of Expression
The freedom to express ourselves without fear or intimidation is something we often take for granted in Europe, where free speech is protected by law. It is almost inconceivable to think we would be afraid to express our opinions or thoughts in our daily lives.
This ability to express ourselves freely is fundamental to a free society. It includes not only the freedom to write creatively and to report the news of the day, but to read and publish. Free speech also means engaging with society at large via mass and social media and this freedom is further supported and protected by copyright.
We share the goal of the European Union today to create a favourable environment to enable a fully functioning Digital Single Market to flourish. Our newspapers, magazines and journals provide a diverse and multi-faceted embodiment of the freedom of expression that is very close to the hearts of millions of European citizens.
In the ongoing debate on how to modernise the EU copyright framework, there are some who seek to convince us that copyright is outdated. We strongly oppose the view that this fundamental freedom is not fit for purpose today.
On the contrary, copyright is even more important in the digital era; effective management and protection of copyright are essential to sustaining independent journalism, news and analysis which are all vital elements of any democracy. Freedom of expression and freedom of speech go hand in hand with the freedom to create, and through copyright, the freedom to contract and to preserve the value of what has been created.
Press publishers together ask our elected politicians to offer their support for a robust copyright system that underpins the diversity of our cultures and allows the many differences of opinions to flourish.
To live without a free and independent media today would not only be a threat to our democracy and European values – it would be unthinkable.