CEPIC Responds to EU on Online Creative Content

Posted on 2/29/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

"[W]e should give the  industry legal certainty, content creators a fair remuneration and consumers broad access to a rich diversity of content online," said Viviane Reding, European Union commissioner, when the European Commission adopted a  communication on "Creative Content Online in Europe's Single Market" in January. The document, which represents the starting point for development of new EU-level content-management policies, was accompanied by a call for public consultation.

The EC sees policy reform as necessary to promote a single-market music, film and games industry. While image licensing is not specifically referenced, the issues raised and reforms proposed have direct relevance to the well-being of stock producers and retailers. Coordination of European Picture Agencies, a prominent international membership body that unites over 1,000 stock photo libraries, news agencies, art galleries and museums in 18 European countries, has issued a response on the industry's behalf.

EC identified several challenges, including localized licensing practices, inadequacy of digital rights-management systems and content piracy. The latter also effects content availability, as rights-holders are increasingly more reluctant to make content available online.

The CEPIC response to the EC-issued questionnaire highlights that the stock industry is somewhat ahead of other creative content-providers. The industry has 15 years of experience distributing and selling digital images. It has already developed relevant, highly specialized online DRM systems, as well as global image-licensing practices. Though stock companies are still dealing with complex technical issues involving image metadata, DRM and licensing processes are arguably more standardized than in other industries.

However, CEPIC stresses that piracy remains a critical challenge. The organization acknowledges its membership's long experience with various methods of copyright protection and monitoring, but says that currently available measures are not sufficient to protect against infringement.

CEPIC also agrees that online end-user license agreements can be made less complex and advocates additional copyright education for image-buyers and the general public.

The EC plans to prepare a recommendation for adoption by the European Parliament by mid-2008.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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