Content Portability proposal encouraging, but greater ambition required to modernise copyright

Content Portability proposal encouraging, but greater ambition required to modernise copyright

Brussels, 09.12.2015 - In order to realise the aims of the Digital Single Market Strategy, considerable political courage and ambition is required.

On that basis, the European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA) welcomes the Commission’s new proposal for a Content Portability Regulation, a forward-looking initiative which we hope will allow the great many number of European citizens travelling cross-borders to benefit from their legally acquired digital content.

That said, we fear that today’s Copyright Modernisation Communication signals diminished momentum from the Commission to tackle some of the additional  barriers to a truly digital Europe.

Of the many strands of the Digital Single Market Strategy outlined on 6 May, the ambition to modernise Europe’s laggard copyright regime was an eye-catching one.

Indeed, adapting European copyright law to the dynamics of the digital age would contribute significantly to one of the Juncker Commission’s primary aims – to allow European consumers to do online that which they can already do offline. A modernised copyright framework would discourage piracy and provide for the overwhelming majority of European consumers who wish to legally acquire digital content but are presently blocked from doing so by legacy territoriality principles.

And for reform of EU copyright rules to be effective, there must also be provisions that allow for the emergence of new business models that supply digital content in ever more innovative ways.

Ultimately, for EuroISPA the Commission’s “gradual approach” to copyright reform must not retract into a “wait-and-see” one. We sincerely hope that when the Commission does come to publish its meaningful copyright reform proposals in 2016, it will signal a return to the political ambition that was so evident during the crafting of the Digital Single Market strategy.

Photo: Innocenzo Genna, EuroISPA Innovation & Growth committee chair.