think digital
ETNO
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association

2017

| ETNO

ETNO Press Release: EU telcos welcome the IP package, support guidance and self-regulation in the digital age

Brussels, 29 November 2017 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telcos, has today welcomed the European Commission package on “Intellectual Property”.
 
As the very essence of our economies becomes digital, it is important to ensure that all the legislative and non-legislative tools are up-to-date. In this context, we agree with the Commission assessment that the IPR Enforcement Directive 2011/48/EC (IPRED) is still fit for purpose, but it will benefit from a proportionate and innovation-friendly guidance on its harmonised implementation in digital times.

EU telcos welcome the IP package, support guidance and self-regulation in the digital age

Brussels, 29 November 2017 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telcos, has today welcomed the European Commission package on “Intellectual Property”.

As the very essence of our economies becomes digital, it is important to ensure that all the legislative and non-legislative tools are up-to-date. In this context, we agree with the Commission assessment that the IPR Enforcement Directive 2011/48/EC (IPRED) is still fit for purpose, but it will benefit from a proportionate and innovation-friendly guidance on its harmonised implementation in digital times.
 
European telcos believe that the IPRED continues to play a crucial role in providing Europe's right holders with a high level of IPR protection. The principles on which it is based remain valid today and they should be maintained. This is particularly important in a digital context, especially at a time in which new business models are emerging. For this reason, in the context of the Commission Communication on IPRED, we believe that the following principles are crucial:

•    A harmonised and coherent implementation across European countries is crucial, as EU tech and telecoms companies develop new innovative services and compete at the global level;
•    The concept of commercial scale infringement (i.e., the “follow-the-money approach”) is at the core of a fair, proportionate and effective framework. ETNO looks forward to contributing to this debate in the context of self-regulatory initiatives;
•    The notion of intermediary, as suggested in the Communication, should be in line with innovation and with the development of new services. From our perspective, it is crucial to make a distinction between the roles of the different players in the value chain: some intermediaries play a "mere conduit passive role" (e.g. network access service providers and cloud hosting providers), while others play an active role by prioritising content, monetising advertising or even promoting business models to access illegal content. The difference between these categories should be made clearer and liability should stem from the different roles and actions;
•    Injunctions, as helpfully clarified in the Communication, must respect the principle of proportionality and respect fundamental rights. In this respect, the clarification that filtering techniques may interfere with fundamental rights and the principles of the eCommerce Directive is very much welcome.
 
ETNO and its companies believe that the IP package, along with the on-going Copyright reform, should foster an environment that supports innovation, new services, increased consumer choice and the respect of fundamental rights. Against this background, it is fundamental to strike a fair balance of interests in the full respect of the principle of proportionality.
 
Caterina Bortolini, Chairwoman of ETNO’s Digital Single Market Working Group, said: “Guidance and self-regulation on IP protection are the best tools to ensure fundamental rights and innovation in a fast-paced digital environment. Legal certainty and a fair collaboration amongst stakeholders are key”.

Members & Observers - View companies map

  • Albtelecom
  • Proximus
  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Lattelecom
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
  • OTE
  • Portugal Telecom
  • Síminn (Iceland Telecom Ltd.)
  • Slovak Telekom
  • Swisscom
  • TDC
  • TDF
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Telekom Austria
  • Telekom Slovenije
  • Orange Polska
  • Telenor
  • Telia Company
  • Turk Telekom
  • Vivacom
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • BT
  • BH Telecom
  • TELEKOM ROMANIA COMMUNICATIONS S.A.
  • POST Group

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