European parliament on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries

Employment in the cultural sector is unlikely to be offshored, as it is connected to specific cultural, often regional and historical competences. CCIs contribute significantly and more than any other sector to youth employment and have proved to be most resilient during the post-2008 economic crisis. It is increasingly rare for cultural and creative artists to be in permanent employment.

CCIs have attractive qualities from a local development perspective: they make use of a range of skills at a series of different levels, tend to be socially responsible and inclusive and generate positive externalities in the areas where they are located; their openness and interaction with other activities give rise to agglomeration and cluster effects and they tend to generate a high proportion of total value added locally. Digital technology and infrastructure rely on the content provided by creators. Direct access to global audiences has led to new forms of artistic and creative content.

There is a higher degree of risk involved in investing in CCIs compared with other types of business, and this argument is based, inter alia, on the fact that CCIs are IPR-intensive and that there are difficulties involved in using intangible goods as guarantees for financing. CCIs remain undervalued and unrecognised, especially in terms of their ability to access start-up capital and financing. In order to improve access to finance in the CCIs it is necessary to develop expertise in identifying and assessing the value of intangible assets, which could be used as collaterals.

In the industrial economy, investment was primarily focused on tangible goods, which were the main drivers of growth; in today’s creative economy, intangible goods are the principal targets for investment, sources of value and drivers of growth. The financing of CCIs should be seen in this context. CCIs often have complex business models which can present a challenge to traditional forms of funding. EP calls for the promotion of ‘intellectual property asset protocols’ facilitating the valuation of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and invites the Commission and the Member States to adopt the necessary mechanisms in order to increase the bankability of IPRs and the recognition of their full value as assets.

Despite the fact that more cultural and creative content is being accessed and shared today than ever before, in particular on services such as user-uploaded content platforms and content aggregation services, and that distribution and production costs have fallen with technology developments, the cultural and creative sector has not seen a comparable increase in revenues from this increase in consumption, largely due to the lack of transparency in the value chain and of legal clarity and the difficulties experienced by traditional sectors in adapting to digital transformation.

The protection of copyright and related rights is at the core of the CCI’s revenue. Given the borderless nature of the digital environment there is a need to ensure coherence between regulators, law enforcement agencies and the judicial system within the EU. Research into right holders and non-transparent rules on copyright represent administrative burdens entailing high costs and considerable effort, especially for SMEs working on a cross-border basis.

EP recommends (de), therefore, that a common pan-European database be established, with all available information on right holders for each sector in order to facilitate rights clearance. EP also asks the Commission to improve good governance, efficiency, transparency and accountability of collective rights management organisations in other sectors. Piracy and counterfeiting remain a serious concern for CCIs and citizens alike. These illicit activities cause serious income and job losses, and can result in safety and health concerns that need to be addressed.

There is the need to monitor and strengthen the application of existing enforcement rules across the EU. EP recommends considering the introduction of tougher sanctions and the promotion of a system of guarantees on traceability as a deterrent for counterfeiters – particularly large-scale commercial ones – as well as increasing the damages and compensation awarded to right holders. EP calls on the Commission 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 to take action to prevent this content, once removed, from reappearing. Protection of right holders within the copyright and intellectual property framework is necessary in order to ensure recognition of values and stimulation of innovation, creativity, investment and production of content.

There is the need to keep cultural and audiovisual services outside the scope of the negotiating mandate for general free trade agreements. Atypical employment (part-time and fixed-duration contracts, temporary work and economically dependent self-employment) of cultural and creative workers, specifically in the media and culture sector, is commonplace. There is the need to remove obstacles to mobility of artists and culture professionals.