05 March, 2014

Press release: Copyright in the digital age: we need to re-think the current rules

Today, the European Commission officially closes their Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. ETNO, representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, has put forward a strong response to call for a timely re-think of copyright rules.

In our response (available here), we reaffirm that copyright is fundamental to innovation and that copyright owners need to be properly remunerated for their works. As a representative of one of the most innovative industries, ETNO supports a sound regulatory framework for copyright and an appropriate protection mechanism. At the same time, the enormous opportunities and facilities granted by ICT and the Internet in terms of social and economic welfare need to be equally supported, through a regulatory framework that fosters investment and the provision of innovative services. As such, ETNO considers that the forthcoming new European Commission and Parliament terms, and the needed revision of the Digital Agenda objectives are a unique opportunity to strike a sound balance of equally relevant interests and to establish a legal framework that is fit for purpose in the digital environment.

In the response we also identify a series of barriers to cross-border service provision in areas as diverse as content delivery standards, consumer protection laws, personal data, security and the current tax system, which is an obstacle to the development of cross-border content offers.

This shows how the dramatic changes brought about by the Internet era may challenge the current regulatory regime for copyright and we believe that it is appropriate that the EU Commission questions the adequacy of the current regime in the digital environment. ICT is an enabler of new content distribution mechanisms and services and ETNO members are investing heavily to ensure that the underlying infrastructure is in place to support this innovation.

ETNO joins Industry coalition on copyright

ETNO is not alone in asking for a re-think of the current rules. Today we also joined a broad coalition of stakeholders representing the European electronic communications and Internet industry, which is comprised of both national and pan-European fixed and mobile telecoms operators, Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and cable companies. The coalition statement (available here) advocates for a “progressive regulatory framework for copyright, one that fosters investment and the provision of innovative services and also provides appropriate protection mechanisms”. Signatories include Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO, EuroISPA, GSMA and CCIA.

For media inquiries: Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications and Media, gropelli@etno.eu, 0032 (0) 4769 418390032 (0) 4769 41839, Twitter: @ETNOAssociation

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