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Ehler’s and Morgano’s CCI report: copyright and counterfeiting in CCS

Copyright is to the cultural and creative sector, what patents are to industry and technology. The protection of copyright is an element vital to the very survival of the creative industry. Despite the fact that more creative content is being consumed today than ever before (think of the record levels reached by the music), on services such as user-uploaded content platforms and content aggregation services, the creative sectors (among others rights holders, artists and producers) have not seen a comparable increase in revenues from this increase in consumption.

This has generated a so-called “value gap”, whereas platform services retain the value of cultural and creative works, which is diverted from creators. The transfer of value has created an inefficient and unfair market, and threatens the long-term health of the EU’s cultural and creative sectors and the success of the Digital Single Market.

The co-rapporteurs therefore call on the Commission, in view of the copyright reform proposal, to identify legal solutions applicable to online services that solve this distortion of the market and suit creators, right holders and consumers alike. Liability exemptions can only apply to genuinely neutral and passive online service providers, and not to services that play an active role in distributing, promoting and monetising content at the expense of creators.

Furthermore, the high-end and fashion segments are subject to increasing and heavy counterfeiting, reaching alarming proportions in terms of lost revenue for industries and consequent loss of jobs, let alone problems related to health and consumer protection. To understand the severity of the issue, data for 2013 shows that up to 2.5% of international trade was in counterfeit and pirated goods, and up to 5% of import in the EU alone, or as much as 85 billion €.

Alongside a clear definition that takes into account all sectors related to CCIs, the co-rapporteurs believe (de) it equally necessary to have comparable and reliable statistical data. Each Member State has, in fact, its own classification of CCIs. It is therefore essential to adopt at EU level an updated framework for the sector and to map changes over time. The objective should be to identify specific indicators to measure the results of policies for the promotion of the sector.