Brussels, September 10, 2010.
Ten European federations, including the European Writers’ Council, issued a joint statement on behalf of creators’ organisations and trades unions representing over a million authors, performers, artists, technicians and other creative workers regarding the forthcoming vote on MEP M. Gallo’s Report on enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI)) 3 June 2010.
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
We write to you on behalf of creators’ organisations and trades unions representing over a million authors, performers, artists, technicians and other creative workers regarding the forthcoming vote on the Gallo report.
We believe that this report represents a good compromise between the different political groups. We equally appreciate the fact that it advocates a balanced and fair approach to illegal file sharing, with an emphasis on educational and awareness raising measures rather than repressive provisions, as it has been often inaccurately reported. We fully acknowledge the need to create a favourable environment enabling consumers to access creative and in-copyright works of high quality. We look forward to further initiatives promoting employment, better remuneration for creators in the sector and the value of intellectual property as a tool to sustain cultural diversity in Europe.
Throughout the debate on the report, we have all been active in drawing your attention to the need for an effective protection of creative contents on the Internet, in the interest of creators, technicians and all other workers in the media and entertainment industries. Such protection is also essential to a sustainable creative economy as well as to the diversity of cultural expressions, to the benefit of all EU citizens.
The drastic change of paradigm introduced by the Alternative Resolution, which by contrast simply endorses behaviours aiming at escaping lawful and legitimate payments for creative contents and services, would endanger the work and remuneration of our members. We believe that the proposed compensation systems cannot satisfactorily replace existing remuneration schemes.
Illegal file sharing, even on a non-commercial basis, unfairly competes with new business models, thus undermining investments in the creative industries and threatening jobs in the sector. The Alternative Resolution doesn’t bring any evidence that it could substitute the existing copyright/authors’ rights regime without heavy collateral damages to the whole creative chain, from creators to consumers.
Respect for intellectual property rights, including author’s rights, is a pre-requisite for authors, creators and technicians to contribute with their work to the European cultural wealth and economy.
For these reasons, we urge you to support the Gallo report at your forthcoming plenary meeting next week.
European Council of Artists (ECA); European Federation of Journalists (EFJ); European Visual Artists (EVA); European Writers’ Council (EWC); Federation of European Film Directors (FERA); International Federation of Actors (FIA); International Federation of Musicians (FIM); Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE); UNI MEI – Global Union for Media, Entertainment and Arts; Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA)