Kroes wants single law on copyright management
By Nathalie Vandystadt | Friday 04 May 2012
Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes considers that a single EU law, instead of the current 27 national laws, could cover all aspects of copyright management, all the more so since an estimated €110 billion a year is lost because of the lack of a single market in telecoms – when the EU is desperately in need of growth.
At the heart of a heated debate, copyright collecting societies are putting forward the specificity of the culture market. The Dutch Liberal commissioner has chosen her camp: “I’m convinced web entrepreneurs are the key to our future growth. [...] But most of all, web entrepreneurs need us to identify and deal with the barriers that stand in the way of their online freedom,” she said at a conference on the internet, on 4 May in Berlin. Kroes is against complicated exploitation rights for online musical or audiovisual works – covered by 27 laws, when one would suffice. “All these things can crush innovation and keep bright ideas confined in unprofitable national markets,” Kroes added.
The Commissioner for the Internal Market, Michel Barnier, is set to make proposals for the amendment of the management of coypright collecting in June. Although he is less liberal in his approach than Kroes, he has already been called on by 12 EU countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Spain. The 12 countries sent him a letter, in early March, expressing their displeasure at the slow pace of Europe when it comes to the digital economy: cross-border trade is low and creativity is restrained by a complex system of copyright regimes that vary from country to country.