June 8, 2010
Last week’s European Parliament vote in favour of a tough approach to fighting online theft signalled much-needed support for thousands of creative artists across the EU.
Effective protection of online property is fundamental to ensuring that innovation and creativity are able to flourish in the cultural sector. For Europe to maintain a vibrant creative community in the future, we need to provide a supportive environment in which composers, lyricists and all artists are able to have ownership of their work and protect it from theft.
Put simply, online theft undermines the rights and livelihoods of songwriters and composers. In an industry that is dominated by SMEs, it places pressure on growth in an already fragile economic climate. Recent reports suggest that up to one million jobs in the creative industries could be lost by 2015 if piracy is not addressed. We welcome the week-long focus being given to the issue in the European Parliament during the week beginning 21 June, with an exhibition and a series of events aimed at highlighting and sharing best-practice strategies for tackling the problem as part of the EU Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.
ICMP applauds the Commission’s plans on enforcement and infringement as outlined in the new European Digital Agenda. Addressing online theft effectively will not only create a better environment for artists, but will ultimately benefit consumers by fostering innovation and creativity. A key element will be to set in place a consumer-facing programme to challenge the culture of gratuity that has emerged in recent years. Making citizens better aware of both their rights and responsibilities online will allow them to take greater advantage of the wide opportunities that the digital age presents.
Secretary-GeneralLetters to the EurActiv editor