BRUSSELS, June 6th, 2012
COPYRIGHT USERS AND CONSUMERS PROPOSE STANDARDS FOR SOUNDER AND MORE EFFICIENT COLLECTIVE RIGHTS MANAGEMENT IN EUROPE
Major copyrights users and the European Consumer Organisation are glad to present today a cross-sector agreement on a detailed set of principles which will enable sounder and more efficient management of copyrights for users and consumers. The “Common CUP Principles on the Upcoming Collective Rights Management Directive” have been signed by 10 European organisations so far. The initiative was launched by the Copyright Users’ Platform (CUP), an informal group of organisations representing copyright users in a wide range of sectors.
Copyright users and consumers welcome the European Commission’s long-awaited initiative on the reform of collective rights management practices in Europe. The CUP principles are geared towards this initiative and put forward a number of proposals which aim to finally improve the governance and transparency of collective management of rights, as well as dispute resolution mechanisms.
These principles should apply to all collective rights management bodies, in all sectors, for the management of rights for both offline and Internet uses, at EU and national level:
• As a basic principle, collective rights management organisations should have a duty to contract with every interested rightholder and every interested user;
• Transparent information about the provided service and price criteria should be given, so that the users know precisely what the mandate entrusted to the collective rights management organisation consists of, and how payments to the rightholders are calculated;
• A common framework for rules on accounting and bookkeeping, as well as independent authorisation and supervision in each Member State, should also guarantee quality and efficiency in the management of creators’ rights and
• The CUP principles also suggest a number of practical tools to solve possible disputes over rights clearance while avoiding lengthy, overly costly and sometimes ill fitted dispute resolution procedures.
While copyright users and consumers acknowledge that “In today’s state of play, European collective rights management is essential for enabling that creative content is lawfully circulated, accessed and used”, they also stress that “Rights users have dealt with collective rights management organisations for many years, despite recurrent criticisms of their lack of efficiency and transparency and repeated requests for improvements. This situation, coupled with the fast uptake of digital technology that has considerably eased ways to spread and access creative content, calls for an overhaul of collective rights management practices, both for online and offline uses of works.”
The CUP governance principles and dispute resolution mechanisms have been developed with a view to strike a balance between efficient rights clearance for users and fair reward for the work of rightholders. They ultimately aim to improve the functioning of the internal market and foster the creative sector and the digital economy in Europe.
For further explanation and the full text of the CUP principles please contact one of the signatories below:
AER – Association of European Radios
T: +32 2 736 91 31
E: vincent.sneed @ aereurope.org
BEUC – the European Consumer Organisation
T: +32 2 743 15 95
E: kro @ beuc.eu
T: +32 2 521 17 63
E: caroline.vanweede @ cable-europe.eu
T: +32 2 609 53 12
E: Patrice.chazerand @ digitaleurope.org
EBU – European Broadcasting Union
T: +32 2 286 91 15
E: frank @ ebu.ch
ECTA – European Competitive Telecommunications Association
T: + 32 2 290 01 03
E: fpoggi @ ectaportal.com
ETNO – European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association
T: + 32 2 227 10 83
E: greer @ etno.be
T: +32 2 792 05 56
E: Mwhitehead @ gsm.org
HOTREC – Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe
T: +32 2 513 63 23
E: alexis.waravka @ hotrec.eu
Pearle* – Performing Arts Employers Association League Europe
T: +32 2 203 62 96
E: anita @ pearle.ws
Note to editors: The Copyright Users Platform (CUP) is an informal group of a number of organisations representing copyright users at EU level. It is a forum to exchange information and views, set up in April 2004 following the publication of the Commission Communication on the Management of Copyright and Related Rights in the Internal Market (COM(2004) 261 final). Members of CUP include: AER, Cable Europe, DIGITALEUROPE, EBU, GSMA, HOTREC and Pearle*. This right users’ platform advocates a reform of the collective management system at national and EU level and wants to raise policy makers’ awareness of the need for such reform.
BEUC, ECTA and ETNO are also signatories of these principles.