European Commission on piracy and copyright enforcement - Problems recognised, no solutions provided

29th November 2017

Following today's announcement of an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) package by the European Commission, Frances Moore, Chief Executive Officer of IFPI commented:

"We are disappointed that despite the European Commission recognising the need to modernise IPRED and years of evidence gathering, today’s result is merely guidance to EU Member State governments. Soft law does not give right holders the tools they need to take effective action against pirate services.

"Intellectual property rights are the backbone of Europe's creative industries. Cross-border access to content has been a signature success of the music industry in recent years, but cross-border protection has been lagging. The IPRED law designed to provide that protection is almost 15 years old and is in need of major changes, for example by providing for speedier and more effective injunctions.

"The reality is that when our rights are infringed - for example by a site like The Pirate Bay - we have to take cases one Member State at a time. This is costly, slow, legally incoherent and flies in the face of the Single Market concept.

"At the outset of this Commission, it recognised 'rights that cannot be effectively enforced have little economic value' . That remains as true today as then.

"The Commission has recognised several of the legal problems, including inefficient injunctions. The trouble is that it has done so in a non-binding 'Communication'.

"We remain in a successful Single Market for consumption, but a fragmented European market for copyright enforcement. We urge the Commission to use this Package as a stepping stone to a fully revised and updated IPRED to be provided in the near future and give European right holders the necessary tools to tackle copyright infringement."

Context:

The European Commission has announced an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Package for Europe. The Package follows years of calls to update the EU IPR Enforcement Directive (IPRED) from 2004 and signals how the Commission intends to tackle cross-border infringements such as piracy of copyrighted works such as music and counterfeiting of goods.

The package contained 5 elements, 2 of which are non-binding 'Communications' or Guidelines to EU28 governments, namely an 'Evaluation report of IPRED' (i.e. political outline of the problem) and 'Guidance on IPRED' (i.e. technical and legal guidance).

For further information please contact:

Johnny.Phelan@ifpi.org / +32 (0) 2 511 92 08

John.Blewett@ifpi.org / +44 (0)20 7878 7900

IFPI Consumer Insight report on engagement with music (Sept. 2017)