I criticise policy makers a lot. So it’s really nice when they say something sensible – or even inspirational. The summary does not do this speech justice. It’s quite short, I suggest you read it.
“We must ensure that copyright serves as a building block, not a stumbling block – we need action to promote a legal digital Single Market in Europeâ€ European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said today at the prestigious Forum Dâ€™Avignon, on the subject of how digital technology represents an opportunity rather than a threat to culture. Kroes underlined the need to modernise the copyright system so that it helps rather than hinders artists within the EU’s Single Market. â€œMy goal, in promoting cultural diversity and content adapted to the digital age, is for European creativity to be even strongerâ€, Kroes said. â€œToday our fragmented copyright system is ill-adapted to the real essence of art, which has no frontiers. Instead that system has ended up giving a more prominent role to intermediaries than to artists. It irritates the public, who often cannot access what artists want to offer and leaves a vacuum which is served by illegal content, depriving artists of their well-deserved remuneration. It may suit some vested interests to avoid a debate, or to frame the debate in moralistic terms that merely demonise millions of citizens. But that is not a sustainable approach. Time alone will not solve the problems that have emerged.