Brussels – CCIA stressed the importance of the Internet as a platform for artists and entrepreneurs to create, innovate and reach new markets across the world in its comments on intellectual property enforcement for the European Commission. The Commission requested public consultation on the report on the application of the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED). IPR protection remains important, but the economic importance of European industries relying on legal exceptions and limitations to copyright, is quite often overlooked by lawmakers. A vibrant digital environment needs both.

Even though the Internet challenges certain traditional business models, there are new, innovative business models on the rise, which are fully able to compete in the online world. The IFPI Digital Music Report just revealed that digital content revenues continue to rise dramatically across media types. Paradoxically, while it is clear that demand for digital content in Europe is expanding, the supply fails to meet it as recently found by Forrester Research. The Social Science Research Council examined in a detailed 3-year study media piracy in emerging economies and showed how online piracy can be better understood in terms of a global pricing problem.

The creation of viable online business models is becoming increasingly more important for rightsholders and consumers. Focusing on the enforcement of IPRs alone to meet the challenges posed by the Internet ecosystem is not a viable answer.

CCIA recommended that the Commission should consider the following three points in its IPRED assessment:

A)    Limitations and exceptions to IPRs facilitate growth, innovation and creativity; the economic importance of such kind of limitations and exceptions is quite often overlooked by policy makers. A recent study made in collaboration with SEO Research revealed the economic importance of European industries relying on exceptions and limitations to copyright; they are a driving force for innovation in the fast growing internet economy.

B)    Empirical assessments should possess the analytical rigor that has been lacking in studies produced to date by rightholders. Too often infringement estimates grossly overstate the harm suffered, which can lead to ill-informed policymaking harming the digital economy. CCIA has outlined common fallacies concerning alleged harm caused by IP infringement in this submission to US officials.

C)    Policymakers should not retreat from the e-Commerce Directive’s prohibition on monitoring/filtering obligations. Such an obligation would simply overburden online service providers and would serve as a break on innovation. Moreover, user privacy could be seriously threatened.

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