The ECCD welcomes the end of the trilogue’s discussions regarding the proposal for a regulation against unjustified geoblocking within the internal market and the exclusion of cultural services from its scope.
This regulation was proposed by the European Commission in May 2016 as part of the Digital Single Market strategy. It aims at fostering cross border e-commerce for the benefit of the EU consumers and businesses.
Last week, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission have agreed, for now, to exclude cultural services, namely services which provide copyright-protected works, from the scope of the regulation.
Indeed, the opportunity to include cultural services such as music streaming or e-books will be evaluated in two years time. Audiovisual services will never be regulated within the framework of this regulation.
The ECCD wholeheartedly welcomes the exclusion of cultural services from this regulation. The European institutions have recognised correctly that cultural goods and services are different from all other economic sectors. Their creation and financing are subject to specific business models that would be overturned and in danger if they were suddenly forced to be available simultaneously cross border.
Facilitating the circulation of cultural works in Europe in the digital era is a necessity that should mobilise all cultural professionals. But to preserve the current business models of services offering cultural content online is also vital for the wealth of all cultural sectors and the cultural diversity.
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