At IBC 2014, Amsterdam
In a keynote at yesterday’s IBC 2014, outgoing Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes voiced frustration over copyright impediments unsuitable for the digital future. “My dream is a market that is open, borderless and competitive,” she told the audience. “Stimulating a sector pushes innovation, creativity and culture.”
Aruging that the Internet “doesn’t know borders,” Kroes suggested Europe “embrace the single market,” adding that copyright reform was crucial to allow the proper flow of European innovation and creativityin broadcasting.
“Today broadcasters spend years on paperwork to clear licences, so they can show material in other EU countries,” she said. “That’s expensive enough for the established players; new innovative players can’t afford it at all. Only those with patience and deep pockets can afford to negotiate that maze. On the other side, many people ask me – why can’t I pay to access my favourite TV show when I travel? Or watch the match of my favourite football team from back home? And I just don’t know how to answer them. It’s time for change.”
Kroes concluded with a strong argument in favour of deregulation.
“One thing is clear: protectionism is not the answer to any problem. Nor is levelling up regulation to make everyone’s life equally difficult. Quite the opposite. Make our market a complex obstacle course – and you won’t be favouring Europe culture, creativity or competitiveness.”