think digital
ETNO
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association

2011

| ETNO

Press release: Review of Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive: Proposed changes to the IPR enforcement regime for the online market are premature and new business models need to be adopted

The existing framework provides sound and balanced rules  and there is no evidence  of the need to  change the current provisions to enforce Intellectual Property Rights, says ETNO in its response to the EC public consultation on a possible revision of the IPR Enforcement Directive which ended on 31 March.  The recent implementation of the directive in the member states and the lack of complete information about its functioning make the revision of the directive premature.

BRUSSELS – The existing framework provides sound and balanced rules  and there is no evidence  of the need to  change the current provisions to enforce Intellectual Property Rights, says ETNO in its response to the EC public consultation on a possible revision of the IPR Enforcement Directive which ended on 31 March.  The recent implementation of the directive in the member states and the lack of complete information about its functioning make the revision of the directive premature.

“Rather than a revision of the intellectual property rights enforcement regime towards a more repressive approach, what Europe needs is a reflection on how to best adapt intellectual property rights to new technologies .  It is essential that we increase the availability of legitimate content offers in order to respond to consumer demand and we need to rethink the current ‘release window’ system which dictates when users can access content. Innovation brings the need to find new business models”, says Caterina Bortolini, Chair of ETNO’s Digital Single Market Working Group.

ETNO believes that the current Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive is coherent with existing EU legislation, in particular the eCommerce and the Data Protection Directives, and strikes the right balance between the interests of right holders, consumers and Internet intermediaries. 

Concerning the online environment, ETNO underlines that the current Directive already contains measures to be taken against intermediaries. Any attempt to heighten the role of Internet Service Providers in the fight against violation of IPR  over digital platforms should  be coherent with the current ISP  liability regime  provided for by the e-commerce directive, and should respect  the  fundamental right to a due process and the protection of privacy.  This balance is also necessary so as not to stifle innovation.

Measures triggered by the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive must be proportionate to the gravity of the infringement.  In this respect, ETNO stress that online counterfeiting and IP infringements, which are entirely different in nature, should be tackled in different ways.  In the same vein, ETNO believes that only infringements committed on a commercial scale should subject to the Directive, rather than acts undertaken by end users with no commercial purposes.

Several recent studies demonstrate consumers’ willingness to pay for legitimate online content but conditions must be appropriate to make the offers attractive. Legitimate offers should be widely available, in a timely fashion. As an example, films should be made available online much sooner after theatrical releases. The legal offers should be user friendly and priced in a way that meets both users and right holders’ expectations. 
 
To read ETNO full response to the EC consultation, please consult:http://www.etno.be/Default.aspx?tabid=2373

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager
Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

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