Christian Ehler MEP welcomes today’s JURI Committee vote on the Copyright Directive

“A modernization of the copyright rules to fit the digital age is probably the single most important reform we can envisage to make it worth a living for our many artists, creators and designers in the cultural and creative sector,” Christian Ehler, Chairman of the Intergroup “Cultural and Creative Industries” in the European Parliament, points out. “Currently authors, journalists, designers, photographers, artists, in short: all those who enrich our cultural diversity in Europe and bring it to life, can no longer live from their work due to the fact that online platforms, which profit economically from their creativity, do not remunerate the authors appropriately. “This significant market distortion and injustice has been straightened out today,” commented Dr. Christian Ehler MEP (CDU/EPP) on the result of today’s vote in the JURI Committee.

“The value of cultural and creative works have been diverted away from the users, rights holders, artists and producers – largely to the benefit of platform operators. BUT let’s not forget: Content is created by creators! We cannot let their destiny be determined by monopolists like Google and YouTube alone”, emphasized Ehler.

Just like producers, publishers and rights holders, consumers and Internet users should benefit from the variety of creative content online and offline. However, it is also about time to discuss the “for free mentality” that has spread amongst consumers: “The theft of a bicycle is considered a crime and an injustice whilst stealing someone’s intellectual property is still not being considered a theft. Let me be very clear: There is no difference between a stolen bicycle and stolen intellectual property such as a song that is being uploaded without the permission of the creator.”

With a turnover of 558 billion euros and 8.5 million employees, the creative sector is one of the most important sectors of the EU economy. This industry is an important driving force for the economy and a strong engine for innovation. According to Ehler, “The cultural and creative industries are fundamentally linked to the future of Europe: They protect European identity, culture and values. As a common language, it is a unifying element and, moreover, it shows us time and again that the whole of Europe is our home. The cultural and creative industries are basically the heartbeat of the European project.”