EC public consultation of Creative Content Online

By EDRi · January 16, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 3 January 2008, the European Commission (EC) launched a public
consultation for the preparation of a recommendation on Creative Content
Online to be adopted by the European Parliament and Council that calls
for a common legal environment for online content, proposing multi-territory

In the opinion of the European Commission, EU policies should support the
rapid implementation of “new services and related business models for the
creation and circulation of European content and knowledge online.”

As a result of the public consultation on “Content Online in the Single
Market” launched by the EC in July 2006, there were several calls for the
encouragement of the cooperation between industry, right holders and
consumers on issues such as DRMs or Content Online as well as for financial
support and promotion of DRMs interoperability standards. An independent
study “Interactive Content and Convergence” that followed the consultation
in 2006 gave an overview of the issues to be addressed for the development
of new content services in the EU.

Based on the results of the consultation and of the study, the Commission
proposes in the newly launched consultation four main horizontal
directions of action at EU-level: availability of creative content;
multi-territory licensing for creative content; interoperability and
transparency of DRMs; and legal offers and piracy.

Some concerns have been expressed by digital media rights activists such as
the EDRI-member Open Rights Group (ORG) who believe that the EC plan goes
beyond copyright, and that consumer rights could be affected by it. “Looking
at some of the details of the European Commission consultation document it
seems to be that they are proposing a lot more than just a cross Europe
licensing scheme. (…) There is stuff here about transparency and
interoperability in digital rights management systems, there is stuff about
codes of conduct between internet service providers and rights holders to
encourage legal access and discourage unauthorised file sharing.” stated
Becky Hogg, executive director of ORG.

However, the EC opinion is that all the different national copyright laws
and other intellectual property rights are holding back the film, music and
game industries. “Europe’s content sector is suffering under its regulatory
fragmentation, under its lack of clear, consumer-friendly rules for
accessing copyright-protected online content, and serious disagreements
between stakeholders about fundamental issues such as levies and private
copying,” was the EU Commissioner for the Information Society and
Media,Viviane Reding’s statement.

DRM seems to fade out, after Sony BMG announced at the beginning of 2008
that it plans to give up to DRM for its music, thus becoming the last of the
top four music labels to throw the towel on this subject. But the EC
consultation paper wants to put it back in business, planning “a framework
for DRM transparency concerning, amongst others, the interoperability of
different DRMs, and ensuring that consumers are properly informed of any
usage restrictions placed on downloaded content, as well as of the
interoperability of related online services.”

The consultation closes on 29 February 2008 following which, by the middle
of 2008, Reding will make formal recommendations on new ways to achieve a
single online content market for 500 million potential consumers, predicted
to be worth 8.3 billion euros by 2010 by the study on “Interactive content
and convergence” commissioned by Information Society and Media
Directorate-General of the European Commission and published on 25 January

Commission consultation: the need for pan-European copyright licences

Single European market plan for creative online content (4.01.2008)

Communication from the Commission on Creative Content Online in the Single
Market (3.01.2008)

Commission adopts strategy for “Creative Content Online” (3.01.2008)

Sony BMG Plans to Drop DRM (4.01.2008)

EDRi-gram: Creative content online – main topic in new EC documents