Brussels — A bill on “Creation, Architecture and Heritage Sites” was adopted today by the French Senate at its first reading. The bill focuses on the freedom of artists to create, relationships between stakeholders of the music sector and stakeholders of the film industry, as well as the protection of archaeological heritage.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association is concerned that one measure introduced by the Senate could make it more difficult for French Internet users to find and share images and could damage the Digital Single Market, a major objective of the European Commission.
French citizens rely on online photo sharing and search tools to find and share images and to express themselves.
The measure in question is the creation of an “ancillary copyright for pictures”. Search engines would have to pay collecting societies a levy for pictures they automatically index, even if they are free to use. Such a measure would make it harder for consumers to find information, deter such image search and sharing services from operating on the French market, and would fragment the Digital Single Market.
A second reading by the French National Assembly of the bill on “Creation, Architecture and Heritage Sites” will take place in the coming weeks.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Vice President James Waterworth:
“The Internet, and online tools for finding and sharing pictures, have fostered free and artistic expression. Any measure that might restrict this would be bad. CCIA urges the French government and French Members of Parliament to reject the ancillary copyright for pictures”.
“With Europe poised to enable a Digital Single Market plan for Europe, it is important that countries refrain from enacting policies that would be obstacles to cross border activity and that will hinder growth of the digital economy”.