European Film Industry Voices Concerns over Single Digital Market Strategy


WARSAW: European film industry professionals and organisations have voiced strong concerns about the strategy for the creation of a single digital market across the EU adopted on 6 May by the European Commission.

Film New Europe Association chair and CEO of the Estonian Film Institute Edith Sepp said: “My main concern is territorial exclusive rights and copyrights. For smaller countries, it is about how the language group would survive if only the consumer makes the decision.”

“The idea is good: we as small countries should have the same rights as bigger countries when it comes to e-commerce. But this is not about the audiovisual world but general ecomomics. There is a reason why the system for AV works the way it works – can we destroy the system and build a new one? At the moment the commission has not voiced any solutions.”

Europa Distribution and the International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations (FIAD) warned in a joint statement today that the Commission’s plans for copyright and geo-blocking could in practice lead to a decrease in both the value of film rights and the choices available to European audiences. (Click HERE to read the full statement)

European Film Agencies Directors’ Association (EFADs) welcomed the publication of the Digital Single Market Strategy saying in a statement that while the EFADs support market-led initiatives designed to enable portability of rights, any prevention of geo-blocking would undermine territorial licensing and have significant negative impacts. (Click HERE to read the full statement)

The European Commission has declared the creation of a single digital market across the EU as a commission priority, and this week the EC unveiled its objectives in achieving that goal.

Three policy areas, or “pillars”, will form the structure of the single market strategy. They are:

–         Better online access to digital goods and services

–         An environment where digital goods and services can prosper

–         Digital as a driver for growth

The strategy adopted on 6 May 2015 set out target actions that are to be delivered by the end of 2016. There are a total of 16 initiatives under the three pillars. The overall objective will be the end of regulatory barriers in order to unite 28 individual national markets into a single EU market. The particular steps that affect the media industry include harmonizing rules governing cross-border commerce; creating a modern, European copyright law; assessing the Satellite and Cable Directive to boost cross-border access; reviewing the audiovisual media framework to adapt it to new business models for content distribution; and analyzing online platforms and determining how to tackle illegal content.

(Click HERE to read the full Digital Single Market Strategy Document)

Here you can see the online video from the conference yesterday :

06/05/2015 and press conference by Vice-President Andrus ANSIP and Commissioner Günther OETTINGER

The EC will take up the topic of the Single Digital Market at its 25-26 June 2015 meeting.

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