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MEDIATOR CLEARS THE PATH TO FAIR COMPENSATION SYSTEMS BETTER FIT WITH THE DIGITAL ERA

Date

01 Feb 2013

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
InfoSociety

BRUSSELS, Friday, 1 February 2013: DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the report published yesterday by the EU mediator, Mr. Antonio Vitorino. The report recognises the value of licensed digital services and proposes that licensed copies and licensed services should not attract an additional payment in the form of a private copy levy, a measure which would encourage new and emerging business models in the digital era.

DIGITALEUROPE believes that artists and creators deserve to be rewarded fairly for their creativity and stimulated to produce innovative new content. Consumers want rich content offerings delivered in new and innovative ways to their ever-evolving array of digital devices such as tablets, pcs, TVs and smart phones.

The current model of fair compensation based on levies does not foster an environment conducive to creative endeavor. It is deeply flawed, ineffective and unfair to consumers who do not realise they are paying hidden ‘digital taxes’ which can more than double the price they pay for a digital device. Consumers accessing the same content on different devices pay repeatedly for it; this acts as a disincentive for them to replace their devices with more up-to-date models.

In line with his remit, Mr. Vitorino’s recommendations focus on trying to fix the existing system and include interesting suggestions to improve it. He has made a number of constructive proposals which will help to ease the current system as long as it prevails, most notably favouring licensing over levies which will help to avoid consumers paying twice.

Mr. Vitorino’s report also acknowledges DIGITALEUROPE’s vision for alternatives to the current device-based system on a path towards fairer compensation solutions fit for the digital era. John Higgins, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, stated: ‘The mediator’s recommendations are a step in the right direction; they take into account the current digital reality and set out a clear vision for the future of copyright in Europe.’

DIGITALEUROPE has made the case for Member States to gradually implement alternatives to device-based levies at their own pace over a specific ‘transitional’ time frame. As the amount collected from device-based levies is reduced it would be replaced by more robust and future-proof compensation models, based on harm caused to right holders and using more transparent, less arbitrary, grounds.

A comprehensive public debate on the topic should continue. DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the opportunity to be part of this debate which should include the widest range of stakeholders, including those of the consumers.

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Media and interview enquiries

Jonathan Murray - DIGITALEUROPE, Director T. +32 2 609 53 28 E. jonathan.murray@digitaleurope.org

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