The European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity ask the European Union not to question the founding principles of copyrights.
Last December, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the review of copyrights rules. Deadline for inputs was Wednesday, March 5 2014.
In their answer to the EC’s questionnaire, only available in English, the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity expressed their concerns while the document clearly gives a negative image of copyrights and might reflect the EC’s views on the subject.
They reminded the European Commission of several principles and priorities that should guide the European Union’s action in this domain:
- to defend the territoriality of rights : Segmentation is no result of the territoriality of rights. On the contrary, the territoriality of rights is the result of the current market situation and diverging cultural preferences and languages. The territoriality principle enables audio-visual products to be sold in a way which meets differentiated cultural and linguistic demand. Moreover, it is important to underline that demand of foreign language programmes is still very low and limited, since migrant population within the EU and expatriates only represent 3.3 % of the total population in the EU. Abandoning the current framework in order to serve such a small number of people is unwise, and could weaken creation financing systems.
- to refuse to reduce terms of copyright protection: The Berne Convention requires a minimum term of protection of 50 years after the death of the author. The EU extended this term of protection to 70 years, on the basis that life expectancy has increased, compared with 1886. This decision had nothing to do with technological evolutions and it would not be reasonable to question the very basic principle of remuneration and protection of an author and his descendants for that reason.
- to support the private copying system: The private copying exception, which goes hand-in-hand with the application of private copying levies, is a virtuous and fair system, that provides both the freedom to copy for consumers and fair compensation for authors, artists and producers. The system has proven to be efficient, and should be consolidated.
- to defend cultural and linguistic diversity : The ECCD found regrettable that the European Commission published the consultation document only in English. This practice is detrimental to multilingualism, cultural diversity, equality and the right of information of citizens, which are core values and founding principles of the EU.
Read the complete ECCD’s contribution