Ladies and gentlemen

Culture and creativity rank among Europe’s greatest assets.

We are home to some of the largest publishing houses, a dynamic music industry, and a film sector that is famous the world over.

Europe's creative and cultural industries make us a global leader.

They are effective ambassadors of European quality, excellence and craftsmanship on the international stage.

In more material terms, they are one of the EU's largest employers providing nearly 3% of total employment and around 4% of GDP.

In fact, it is hard to overstate their socio-economic importance.

And it is because of their importance that EU policy needs to protect and promote our creators, authors and artists.

We know, for example, that the cultural and creative sectors often find it difficult to get access to finance.

That is why, in June 2016, we launched an initiative with the European Investment Fund to help SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors access credit.

Of course, everyone here today is aware of the 'value gap' issue. I am fully aware that GESAC and its members have concerns in this area.

Our proposed copyright reform aims to improve the situation on fair remuneration. It will give creators the means to improve their negotiating position with new influential players – like platforms.

As you know yourselves, the internet has become the main marketplace for accessing and distributing copyright-protected content.

Online services represent a major source of revenue for works and other protected content. They are very likely to grow in importance.

After more than 15 years, the music industry is now returning to profitability, making good use of new digital business models to grow and develop.

You have told us very clearly of your concerns about not getting a fair deal for your creative work. Here, my basic principle is simple:

Investments made by creators, artists, performers and creative industries should be properly recognised and rewarded.

It is not right for the revenues that flow from their work to end up disproportionately with a few large players who may not themselves be involved in content creation – but who do make money off the back of it.

Otherwise, we risk a situation where there is less creation, less diversity and less quality. Why? Because there would be less incentive for creators to invest in producing creative content in the first place.

Nobody here wants that.

You are already familiar with the details of the Commission's copyright proposal. It strikes a good balance between different interests.

It is designed to create a fairer and more transparent copyright marketplace.

Firstly, it aims to help creators to negotiate on fairer terms with online platforms. That will mean more content online. Not less.

Better pay for creators will give them the confidence to give wider access to their material, and more legal choice for consumers.

For this, transparency is key.

Creators should know - every week, every month, even in real time - what their songs or books are earning. How much they are played, how they are used. You should also be in a better position to control the use of your work when it is uploaded by platform users.

That is why we propose ways that will allow you to work better with platforms on recognising and flagging content and also to allow better monetisation or sharing of revenue.

With the copyright reform, the overall aim is to set fair rules for Europe:

-    to get a copyright marketplace that functions better;

-    to improve the competitiveness of our cultural and creative industries in the digital environment;

-    to broaden cultural access for online users;

-   to improve opportunities for creators and predictability for those involved in the online content market.


Ladies and gentlemen

We all know that digital technologies are changing how creative content is produced and distributed. Consumer behaviour, of course, is changing too.

This is as true for the world of broadcasting as it is for books, films and music.

Broadcasting is another area of policy action that we are taking as part of the work to build a DSM. It affects authors and creators too, since it relates directly to dissemination of their work.

The main problem is the difficulty that broadcasters have in clearing a multitude of different rights. Today's rules are just too cumbersome for them to make their material available online for users based in other EU countries.

Just one episode of series produced by a broadcaster can include up to 100 underlying rights. Major broadcasters conclude about 100,000 copyright clearing contracts every year, often with a very short timeframe to do so.

At the moment, EU rules to facilitate licensing do not extend to online transmissions or retransmissions other than by cable networks.

We want to make the set-up easier for broadcasters, to smooth the way for cross-border online transmissions of TV and radio programmes and retransmissions of channels from other EU countries.

Applying the country of origin principle to rights clearance for certain online services will allow broadcasters to make programmes available in other EU countries. But this remains a choice for the broadcaster. It is not obligatory: this is about facilitating licensing, nothing else.

That is good news for artists and creators.

It is also good for broadcasters and gives more choice to consumers: more access to a wider variety of TV and radio programmes.

I would like to double the content that is accessible online across country borders.

This is important for people who either want to reconnect with their home culture or who are interested in other cultures and want to be kept informed.

A basic function of copyright is to recognise and reward the investment of creators and of creative industries. Our proposal to reform European copyright law to reflect today's new digital reality reaffirms that principle.

What is the bottom line?

- we want to stimulate cultural diversity;

- we want more culture circulating around Europe;

- and we want new opportunities for creators and the content industry.

Thank you.