Kamis, 03 Januari 2008

EU screens plan for single market in online films, music and games (AFP)

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission said Thursday it would draw up plans to boost the online market for music, films and games while promising to uphold intellectual property rights.

The commission said content providers, telecom companies and Internet service providers should work together to make more online content available, while ensuring the robust protection of intellectual property rights.

Europes content sector is suffering due to diverse and opaque rules on accessing online content amid "serious disagreements between stakeholders about fundamental issues such as levies and private copying," said EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media Viviane Reding.

"We have to make a choice in Europe: Do we want to have a strong music, film and games industry? Then we should give industry legal certainty, content creators a fair remuneration and consumers broad access to a rich diversity of content online," she added.

Reding said she would make recommendations by mid-year "on new ways for achieving a single market for online content."

"The demand and preferences of 500 million potential consumers are the strongest arguments for achieving new solutions at EU level," she said in a statement.

The Commission also wants to facilitate copyright licences for online content covering several or all of the EU member states.

The commission said its research showed that a well-functioning single market for creative online content would strengthen competitiveness in Europes music, film and games industry and allow the sectors retail revenues to quadruple by 2010.

The market for online content is developing rapidly. According to Commission figures, compiled when there were 25 member states, retail revenues from content online will reach 8.3 billion euros (12.3 billion dollars) by 2010.

Copyright piracy remains a serious concern and the EUs executive arm intends to draw up codes of conduct "to ensure not only the widespread offer of attractive content online, but also adequate protection of copyrighted works, and close cooperation on the fight against piracy and unauthorised file-sharing," the Commission said in a statement.

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