Piracy and counterfeiting remain a serious concern for CCIs and citizens alike. These illicit activities can cause safety and health concerns for consumers, jeopardise the financing of cultural creation and the maintaining of a strong European cultural diversity and are often linked to organised crime.
There is the need to reinforce the fight against these illegal activities, especially when they are on a commercial scale, and to find appropriate solutions with the relevant stakeholders. It is recommended to start a public discussion on fair use and a European regulation in copyright laws for exceptions and modern sharing culture.
The Commission is asked to coordinate an in-depth participatory analysis about how most sanction-based instruments have not been able to stop the deterioration of current business models. Such an analysis is a necessary precondition for redesigning the CCI legal framework and a system of guarantees that can act as a deterrent for counterfeiters as well as increase the protection of authors, performers and creators. Any law-enforcement model must distinguish between commercial and non-profit activities, must avoid criminalizing large sectors of the population, must respect fundamental individual rights, including privacy, and must strike a balance between guaranteeing access and providing control.
The need to monitor and strengthen the application of existing enforcement rules across the EU has been underlined. The Commission is urged to propose effective measures to fight online piracy, in particular to ensure that online services which host content apply effective means in order to remove unlicensed content from their services and, once removed, to take action to prevent this content from reappearing. One of the most effective ways of combating piracy is to make more legal technologies available to users through new supply policies.
It was reminded the importance of interoperability and standards to ensure a level playing field and fair conditions of equal access to new platforms and equipments, to avoid high levels of concentration among distribution operators, leading to the limitation to diversified contents. The Commission is urged to promote interoperability between platforms and digital environments and to develop standards able to create a marketplace favourable to innovation in the various cultural sectors concerned.
The Commission and Member States have been urged to improve a regulatory environment which does not impose undue burdens on a sector which consists mainly of freelancers, micro and small and medium enterprises. It was noted the success of tax relief schemes for the cultural and creative sector existing in certain Member States and all Member States are encouraged to introduce such schemes.
The commission is urged to promote the development and usage of free and open source software and open standards in order to foster innovation and growth in CCIs. The commission and the Member States are encouraged to support the digitisation of cultural content, such as digital libraries, thus providing European citizens with broad access to content and promoting cultural and media literacy. Cultural and audio-visual services are to be excluded from any free trade agreement between the Union and third countries, since cultural and creative works are not goods like any others.
Members Stated also are encouraged to develop or implement a legal and institutional framework for creative artistic activity through the adoption or application of a number of coherent and comprehensive measures in respect of contracts, social security, sickness insurance, direct and indirect taxation and compliance with European rules, in order to improve the mobility of artists across the EU.
Relevant reports suggest a lack of necessary entrepreneurship and cross-cutting skills among graduates in cultural and arts disciplines, as well as insufficient knowledge of copyright laws and means of their protection. The Members States and educational institutions are urged to address this gap by means of adjusting teachings programmes and ensure continuous professional training helping CCIs to protect and monetise creativity.
Digitisation and media convergence create new opportunities for access, distribution and promotion of European works and therefore the importance of guaranteeing funding for the digitisation, preservation and online availability of European cultural heritage has been underlined.
Microcredit is often the most effective tool for initiating many kinds of cultural and creative activities. It was highlighted that crowd-funding can become a solid tool for facilitating the involvement of large sectors of society in financing of cultural and creative projects, and that accordingly the authorities should encourage it.
In order to improve access to finance in the CCIs it is necessary to develop a better understanding of the many different ways in which value is created in the field, thinking beyond “objects” like “content”, “assets”, and concentrating on new, more relevant dimensions like connectivity, access, participation.