01.02.14

Digital action plan announced – supporting copyright and culture across Europe

IMPALA have today announced the launch of a Digital Action Plan, ahead of a debate in the European Parliament, which is supported by AIM and the many other European Trade Associations that make up the umbrella organisation. The ten-point plan affirms the need for a new policy that is able to drive the digital market through the cultural and creative sectors, which account for 4,2% of EU GDP and 7.1 million EU jobs.

IMPALA asks the EU to rethink how citizens, artists and businesses engage online. The “rules of engagement online” are important in the music world with reports surfacing last week that YouTube is continuing the same abuses which prompted IMPALA to lodge a complaint to the EC last year.

The action plan also affirms the need to boost smaller players, take the lead on vital internet governance and grow Europe’s copyright capital. One of the strands of Europe’s new industrial policy would be a range of measures to boost SMEs including independent music companies, who account for 80% of jobs and 80% of investment in new music in Europe today.

With the debate on copyright a hot topic, the action plan also takes a robust stance and calls on the EU to reinforce copyright as a fundamental right and a liberator of the creativity that drives the digital market. The importance of stopping the abuse of the so-called “safe harbour” exemption is also underlined, as well as not transferring creators’ rights to trade to those who are behind calls for weaker copyright.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA commented: “An industrial policy for culture is a pre-requisite to Europe’s digital economy. This involves reinforcing copyright and clarifying what operators like YouTube can and can’t do. Ensuring a successful single digital market also implies a host of other measures such as promoting diversity in a measurable way and devising a new regulatory, competition, social and fiscal framework for smaller actors.”

The 10 points are as follows:

  1. Reinforcing the rights that drive the digital market and grow Europe’s copyright capital
  2. Giving citizens the best digital infrastructure in the world
  3. Improving pluralism and diversity online as well as offline
  4. Revisiting the “rules of engagement” online
  5. Growing Europe’s “missing middle” by improving conditions for smaller actors
  6. Effectively tackling websites which are structurally infringing
  7. Increasing investment through a new financial approach to culture
  8. Introducing greater fairness in taxation
  9. Mapping how creativity works and measuring the sectors
  10. Placing culture and diversity at the heart of Europe’s international work

Please see the document below for an in-depth look at the measures to be adopted.