Copyright framework could 'ultimately weaken' EU

Written by Jean Marie Cavada on 10 March 2015 in Opinion

Diversity, continuity and security is required to enable our cultures to flourish, argues Jean Marie Cavada.

With the digital revolution in full flight, I very much welcome the willingness of the European institutions to promote a coherent and efficient digital single market. In my view, creators must be at the heart of this crucial project and Europe must encourage those who bring alive the cultural with their ideas, innovations and talent.

I am campaigning to establish a climate of trust within which European creators will be able to continue to bring all of our citizens the benefit of quality content. Legal accessibility of a diverse range of works is the only solution which will permit users to benefit from an independent and attractive creative sector. We must respect copyright and the right of the creator to be remunerated fairly. It is important to understand that protection of copyright does not mean creative works will be inaccessible, but will allow the continuation of quality culture in Europe.

"It is important to understand that protection of copyright does not mean creative works will be inaccessible"

Currently, rules on copyright in Europe take into account the interests of the rightful owners and the specifics of the legal systems of the 28 member states. Those systems have proved themselves and take into account the cultural and linguistic specificities of each country. Copyright is not a hindrance to the single market as it is sufficiently broad and flexible. The problems inherent in the digital single market must be treated differently, through sectoral agreements and negotiations.

European initiatives in that direction have been taken in recent years. For example, pan-European licences for online music services, launched in 2014 through the directive on collective management of copyright, has facilitated access for European users to musical works. The member states have until 2016 to transpose that directive into their national legislation. Let us then analyse the impact of the initiative.

If the EU wants to be able to evaluate whether it is truly relevant by adjusting the legal framework of copyright, or even incorporating it into the digital market, it would be wise to wait before undertaking new actions which could ultimately weaken what the European institutions have strived so hard to introduce in recent years.

For creators and users, it is essential that European cultures continue to prosper in diversity, but also in continuity and security. In this way, creators will be able to continue supplying quality content to users, who for their part will benefit from a wide range of original, innovative and enriching works.


About the author

Jean Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR) is vice-chair of parliament's legal affairs committee

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