Creative content online – main topic in new EC documents

By EDRi · December 19, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A new policy paper drafted by the European Commission (EC) shows its
intention to promote new measures to fight against illegal file-sharing,
taking as a positive example the French agreement between ISPs and the
record industries already presented in EDRI-gram.

The policy paper obtained by EurActiv and entitled “Creative content online
in the Single Market” wants to involve all the stakeholders in the
activities against piracy: “It seems appropriate to instigate co-operation
procedures between access and service providers, right holders and

The Commission communication also talks about the development of new legal
offers of digital content available for consumers, educational programs to
raise awareness on the copyright issues and availability of the digital
content in a single market, suggesting multi-national copyright licences and
the interoperability of platforms offering legal content.

The digital content market is estimated to reach 8.3 billion euros by 2010
in the EU 25 and this is why the EC sees as a real concern the “piracy and
unauthorised up- and downloading of copyrighted content”. Therefore the
Commission has started a public debate by “asking the sector’s stakeholders
whether they are ready to consider the French way, based on enforcement, and
whether they consider applying filtering measures to be an effective means
of preventing online copyright infringements.”

The position of the EC is not a surprise, if we take into consideration the
statement of the European Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding at
the European Publishers’ Forum on 6 December 2007. She emphasised her
efforts to promote a new law on digital publishing copyrights, explaining
that : “With the telecom package, I want to support competitiveness,
innovation and creativity. It is the first time that an electronic
communications package includes specific requirements for network operators
and users to respect copyright law.”

Reading added: “People don’t buy technology, they acquire contents and
services. Therefore, the new rules contain references concerning compliance
with national measures implementing the Copyright Directive and the
Enforcement Directive. Moreover, the Universal Service Directive says that
member states shall ensure that subscribers to electronic communications
services or networks are clearly informed in advance of their obligations to
respect copyright and related rights and of the most common acts of
infringements and their legal consequences.”

The commissioner also pointed out the new role of the EC in this domain – a
catalyst through a “communication on creative content online in the single
market, which will generate business negotiations and improve legal

But the publishers were also criticised, the European official considering
they didn’t adapt their business modes to the new dynamics asked by the
raise of the Internet. According to Reading the publishers “face a big
challenge in determining how to generate revenues in the digital age, and
that most news and magazine publishers still earn less than 5 percent of
revenues from new media, though this should double in the next year.”

EU plans new measures to curb online piracy (10.12.2007)

EU Online Copyright Bill Coming; Publishers Debate DRMs (9.12.2007)

EDRi-gram: New agreement between the French ISPs and record industries