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JOINT INDUSTRY STATEMENT ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S PROPOSED STRATEGY ON A SINGLE MARKET FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Date

24 May 2011

Sections

InfoSociety

Europe’s leading ICT & Communications organisations welcome the
European Commission’s decision to adopt a holistic approach regarding the European Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) framework. In order to avoid chilling innovation and to achieve a true and
competitive digital single market, there is an urgent need for traditional business models to be
adapted to the online environment. We are encouraged that the Commission is showing its intention
to provide clear and future-proof rules that will be essential if Europe is to fully realise the potential
benefits that e-commerce and ICT can deliver. Improving collective rights management poses a great
opportunity for a modern European technology landscape. It also represents a major challenge as
failing to get this right would represent a block to progress as well as gross negligence when it comes
to advancing the Single Market.

We regret that the Commission may be pre-disposed to revise the IPR Enforcement Directive 2004/48
(IPRED) at this premature stage. We have limited experience with the provisions of this Directive to
date due to its late transposition in the Member States. There is also a lack of evidence at this stage
that suggests a real necessity for a revision.
We are collectively concerned about the Commission’s plan to increase the role of Internet Services
providers (ISPs) in preventing illegal download, particularly if voluntary cooperation is proposed that
would bypass the necessary safeguards currently provided by the judicial control on the legality of the
content. Such action would shift additional responsibility and liabilities to ISPs as well as negatively
impact the privacy of communications for European consumers. A likely disclosure of personal data
stands contrary to the current European legal framework.
We support the need to enforce IPRs in order to duly remunerate right holders and combat infringing
activities. However, an objective and grounded economic quantification of the impact of digital piracy
on the market is a requisite if Europe is to ensure that it works to best combat piracy without
unnecessary cost and risk for the wider ICT ecosystem. We underscore the need for further
transparency of the Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, and involvement of Internet
intermediaries and consumers to provide for a more objective and balanced assessment of the
market’s reality.

We call on the Commission to continue this positive focus on new measures that promote the
establishment of innovative services that will effectively allow the value of copyright to be realised and
constitute new sources of revenues for creators. A new reality for business models requires that
European policy makers work with the ICT establishment to promote rather than restrict new
developments, especially given the delicate balance it takes to best nurture both the creative industry
and those who help to disseminate their work. Intensifying the enforcement measures, restrictions
and sanctions already in place runs counter to the sorts of environments that promote rather than
hamper innovation optimal circulation of business and consumer communication activities across the
many platforms used today.

Our pan-European organisations, Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO, EuroISPA and GSMA Europe
represent electronic communications industry that is comprised of both national and pan-European
fixed and mobile operators, Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and cable companies.
 

Cable Europe (www.cable-europe.eu), the European Cable
Communications Association, is based in Brussels and groups all the leading
European cable TV operators and their national trade associations
throughout Europe. The aim of Cable Europe is to promote and defend the
industry’s policies and business interests at European and international level. The European cable TV industry provides digital TV, broadband Internet and
telephony services to more than 70 million customers. Contact: Gilone
d’Udekem, Director Regulatory Affairs (+3225562101/
gilone.dudekem@cable-europe.eu)

ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association -
www.ectaportal.com) is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association
that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators
across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory
and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment
manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all
electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our
members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband,
business communications, entertainment and mobile. Contact:Vicky Hanley-
Emilsson (+32 2 227 11 79/vhanley-emilsson@ectaportal.com)

ETNO (the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association -
www.etno.eu) is the voice of the European telecommunications network
operators with over a decade of experience in shaping EU telecoms policy.
The association represents 41 companies located in 35 European countries.
They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than 250 billion
Euros and employ over one million people across Europe. Contact: Caroline
Greer, Regulatory Affairs Manager (+322227 10 83 / greer@etno.be)

EuroISPA is the world’s largest association of Internet Services Providers
(ISPs) representing the interests of more than 1800 ISPs across the EU and
the EFTA countries. EuroISPA is a major voice of the Internet industry on
information society subjects such as cybercrime, data protection, ecommerce
regulation, EU telecommunications law and safe use of the
Internet (www.euroispa.org). Contact: Andrea D’Incecco, Head of Policy (+32
2 503.22.65/ andrea@euroispa.org)

GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications
industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's
mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment
providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.
The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new
opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of
the mobile communications industry. In the European Union the GSMA
represents over 100 operators providing more than 600 million subscriber
connections across the region. For more information on GSMA, please visit:
Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications
industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com, GSMA corporate website at
www.gsmworld.com, GSMA Europe www.gsmeurope.org. Contact: Martin
Whitehead, Director, GSMA Europe (+32 2 792 05 50/
MWhitehead@gsm.org)

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