“A modernisation of copyright rules to fit the digital age is probably the single most important reform we can envisage to make a worthy living for our many artists, creators and designers in the cultural and creative sector”, said Co-Rapporteur Christian Ehler MEP before the adoption of a joint initiative Report from the Industry and Culture Committees of the European Parliament.
The value of cultural and creative works has been diverted away from the users, rights holders, artists and producers, largely to the benefit of platform operators. This has to change.
“The transfer of value has created an inefficient and unfair market and threatens the long-term health of the EU’s cultural and creative sectors and the success of the Digital Single Market. This unjust situation has to change. The YouTubes and Googles of this world have to stop hiding behind the safe harbour provisions of the E-Commerce Directive”, continued Ehler.
The Report is thus the very first attempt to deal with the issue and come up with a coherent policy for the big and growing part of the EU economy that consists of cultural and creative industries comprising everything from architecture to artistic crafts to movies, television and video games, fashion, music, books etc.
“We have designed a blueprint and a vision for the sector’s future, a vision that will help to foster growth, unlock the innovative potential of the sector and ensure a balanced legal framework for creators and their partners and consumers alike”, said Ehler.
Besides the very important issue of a copyrights reform, it touches on combating counterfeits in the fashion industry, education and training the sector, access to finance and preservations of skills - the European savoir-faire in creative industries.
As it is, the three million enterprises in the creative industries sector provide more than 12 million full-time jobs to Europe, which means that no less that 7.5 percent of the EU workforce is engaged in this sector. The turnover amounts to €1500 billion, while the added value is approximately €509 billion. In fact, it is bigger than both the automotive production and chemical production in the EU.
“The direction is clear. We need to make creative industries a policy priority”, Christian Ehler concluded.