Joint Statement by MEPs Patrizia Toia, Stefano Maullu, and Silvia Costa

Patrizia Toia, Vice-Chair Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Stefano Maullu, Vice-Chair Commitee on Culture and Education

Silvia Costa, Former Chair Committee on Culture and Education

Milan, 12th October 2017

We, Members of ITRE and CULT Committees, after a seminar on the Copyright Directive with the main Associations and Federations of the Cultural Industries, reaffirm the importance of copyright as a milestone for cultural industries in the European Union.

The European Parliament and all Political Parties have spent last months in many positive and useful meetings on the role of copyright in the XXI century.

We seek a balance between the principle of freedom of expression and accessibility for consumers on one side and the respect of the rule of law in the digital sphere, including copyright, on the other.

The two declarations made by the French, Italian and Spanish governments (the joint Declaration of Malaga – February 2017 – and the Paris Declaration – May 2017) openly recognize the need to address the “unfair repartition of the Value between creators and online intermediaries uploading massive quantity of copyright protected content without contributing to its financing”

In this context, we are firmly convinced that there is a “Value Gap” which is not anymore acceptable: online platforms should recognize a fair remuneration to right-holders.

The safe harbor introduced 17 years ago by the e-commerce directive was targeted for truly passive service providers. We therefore welcome the initiative taken by the European Commission, introducing a clarification of the liability regime in the Copyright Directive, as a first step in the right direction.

Referred to the SAT – CAB proposed Regulation (Online Retransmission of Broadcasting Services); some important rates are scheduled on the forthcoming votes. We ask for the protection and support of the principle of territoriality exclusivity (when licensing copyright) sustaining to the business model of the European content production and distribution industry, as it will guarantee the quality of product and content.

In relation to the matter of exceptions, we think that search for contractual solutions should precede the establishment of other exceptions on copyright.

In extreme conclusion, we would like to stress that weakening the Copyright will not mean more freedom, but will cause the impoverishment of the European cultural diversity.

  • Read pdf here
  • Read more about the Copyright Directive here