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Online Distribution of Audiovisual Works: EDRi's answer to the EC

16 November, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EDRi-Stellungnahme: Online-Vertrieb von audiovisuellen Werken

Adapting the European policy to the digital environment would offer the audiovisual industry access to an even broader audience and would give the consumer greater access to cultural works. It is the opportunity to redefine a simple and harmonised framework. It is a chance to achieve a digital single market.

What creates obstacles to achieving this goal? Which interests should be taken into account? What should the EU policy-maker do to offer a satisfactory environment to both rightsholders and consumers?

EU policy must be user-friendly, innovation-friendly and creation-friendly. The current framework somehow fails to take into account all those aspects and to find the right balance between the interests at stake.

One of the essential aspects is access to culture. The current divided market, particularly on the copyright aspects, creates barriers that prevent EU citizens to access, use and enjoy cultural content such as the audiovisual works. Nowadays, consumers consider the current copyright law system as illegitimate, which explains the level of infringements. The current system not only is not consumer-unfriendly but it also has an economic downturn, it indeed stifles the development of new technology. Its overly strict application of copyright, indefensible and ineffective repressive enforcement measures are counterproductive.

There are numerous ways to improve the actual eco-environment without putting aside any interests: harmonising the actual framework, minimising the complexity and waste generated by intermediaries, micro-payments, enabling the development of legal platforms to access, share and stream audiovisual content, cross-border licensing, pan-European offers.

The achievement a digital single market should not be undermined by efforts to create more restrictions over the use of content, such as limiting exceptions and limitations to copyright. Equal access to culture should also be recognised for people with disabilities and the copyright exception should be made mandatory for that purpose.

The digital environment offers new perspectives, new possibilities and new opportunities for the industries and for citizens and those opportunities must be embraced by the EU. The right balance between economic and social goals, the interests of creators and consumers can be found without putting the interests of one above the others. More repressive enforcement will risk making the legal framework even more illegitimate. What the EU needs is a clear, simple and harmonised framework.

EC Green Paper on the Online Distribution of Audiovisual Works

EDRi's answer to the consultation (11.2011)

(Contribution by Marie Humeau - EDRi)



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