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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow EUCommission v.President Ansip to EF: Digital Tech. for Citizens Access + Authors Reward on Culture

EUCommission v.President Ansip to EF: Digital Tech. for Citizens Access + Authors Reward on Culture

Escrito por ACM
22.11.16
 
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Modern Digital Technologies and EU's Single Market are Able to Ensure, at the Same Time, Both Better Citizens' Access, and Fair Remuneration to Authors, for the Preservation and Promotion of the European Heritage, replied, in Substance, the competent Vice-President of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip^, to an "Eurofora"'s relevant Query.


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   Raising 2 relevant Questions on the Sidelines of an EU/CoE Conference about Digital Data Protection, organized by the PanEuropean AudioVisual Observatory of the CoE, with the Participation of vice-President Ansip, s Key-note Peaker, "Eurofora", Started by Reminding the Fact that the current President of EU Commission, former Long-Time Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, had Drafted a Landmark Report on the Future of EU - CoE Cooperation, in a New Architecture of Europe, after being Invited to do so by the Heads of State/Government of the 47 Member Countries of the CoE, at their 2005 Summit in Varsaw, Poland.

 
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    - In this regard, By a Coincidence, this Same Day, in CoE's Committee of Ministers, was Anounced, (by the Incoming Cyprus' CoE Presidency for November 2016 - May 2017) a Project about the Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage, spreading up to Next year (2017), and, since Digital Technologies, Both from the point of view of Copyright, and from that of Common Market, are very Important, in order to Protect and Promote the Cultural Heritage, could yu kindly tell us what would be your ideas on How to Build the Horizon of this Junction between Cultural Heritage, Digital Technologies, and Copyright ?"


    - "Don't you think, in this regard, that Europe has a great Potential in this area, which sould be Both Protected and Promoted ?", "Eurofora" asked Ansip.


    - "Thank you for this substantial, but wide Question", reacted Positively with a Smile, EU Commission's vice President, who had Earlier taken himself the Initiative to Evoke also Culture. 

- "I think that the whole Idea of the Digital Single Market is meant (also in order) to Protect our (EU's) Cultural Heritage, and to Improve Access to those MasterPieces created by our Artists, and I Hope Everyone will realize that", he stressed from the outset, practicaly Agreeing with "Eurofora"s main observation, (See Above).

    - "As you know, our (EU's) Aim is to provide Better Access to Digital Contents for our Citizens, and, at the Same Time, our Aim is also to provide Fair Remuneration to our Authors", Andrus Ansip^pointed out, as a matter of General Principle. Indeed, - "I canNot see a Contradiction between those 2 Aims", he acknowledged.


    - "Last May, we (EU) Launched a Digital Single Market Strategy, while on December we presented Priority Proposals, and, one of the very First was about the portability of the Content. Today, 20% of European Citizens are Spending at least 10 Days each Year in anOther (EU) Country. And Many of those Travelling somewhere in other EU Countries would like to get Legally Access to their Digital Content. But, because of Copyright Restrictions, they canNot", he Denounced.


    - However, "for some Other People, that's Not a big Problem" : F.ex., for them "VPN is Available"... "So, 20% of Internet Users in the EU are used to Pay in order to get thus Access to Digital Content, and, since it's not free of charge, they just Pay 6 or 10 € for one of 2 Month, 20 € for 3 Months, etc., without even thinking that they are doing something in the Wrong Way. But, there is a Problem : Authors are Not Remunerated", he observed.


    - And "68% of interviewed EU Citizens said that they are using so-called "Free Goggles". "But, once again, there is a Problem : Authors are Not Remunerated". "So, somehow, as I said many times, with our (EU's) Regulations, we are Pushing People to those so-called "Free Goggles", he Warned.


    >>> - In fact, "We (EU), have to Tackle Piracy, but, First, we have also to Provide Legal Access to Digital Content for our People !" the Competent EU Commission's vice-President Urged.


    - "So, concerning the Portability of Content :" Of course, "we (EU) will Protect the Principle of Territoriality, But, for me, it's Difficult to Understand when People are Asking for Absolute for Territorial Exclusivity", Ansip Denounced.


    - Indeed, "Is there absolute Territorial Exclusivity, when, already, at least 20% of EU Citizens use VPN, while 68% use Free Goggles ?", he critically wondered. "My Understanding about Absolute Exclusivity is Differend : Absolute Exclusivity can be either Zero %, or 100%, but this kind of Exclusivity is very Relative"...


----------------------


    + "Our (EU Commission's) 2nd Reform Package is also about Cultural Heritage" indeed, vice-President Ansip observed, pointing Closer to "Eurofora"'s original Question, (See Above).


     - We proposed also a special regulation for Preservation purposes by Cultural Heritage Institutions : F.ex., concerning Museums, or Archives, etc, Change from one Carrier to anOther, (f.ex. DSHL to Fiber, or to DVD, etc) may be a Big Challenge and have a High Level of Administrative Costs", he  observed.


    => - "We (EU) Want to Cut those Administrative Costs, and Provide Access for People to all those Masterpieces Created by Artists", he stressed.


     >>> Because "Cultural Heritage is a Great Value", EU Commission's vice-President underlined.


     - "But it will be Much Better when this woN't be Blocked in Archives or Museums, so that People will have Access to Cultural Heritage !", Ansip pointed out, as a matter of Principle.


    + "So we (EU Commission) proposed also to Extend  the uses of Cultural Origin principle", as well as "of Collective Licensing", to "at least Double the Volume of" (relevant Digital) "Content which will Cross Borders for Access by our Citizens", etc., he added.


    => "I think that Everybody will Benefit, if we (EU) are Anle to Reach those Aims" : i.e. "Both Creators, and our (EU's) Citizens", the Competent EU Commissioner, optimisticaly observed, pointing at the Heart of the Matter.


     + Moreover, "a Lot of Other Proposals were made, so that Cultural Heritage can also ensure a Fair Remuneration of our Authors", since, "if they are Not Remunerated, then, Nobody will Provide", preserve and present "no more such real Masterpieces", he went on to add.


     - Nevertheless, Many among them, "f.ex. Musicians, are Unhappy. They say that they are Not fairly Remunerated", etc. "They are Complaining about Platforms for Distribution".

 
    - But, "there are very Differend Platforms" : F.ex., "Platforms based on Subscription, where there are 68 Millions of Users per Month, Contributing for about 2 Bilions € to Musicians".


    - "At the same time, there are some Other Platfroms, supported by Advertizing, and they have 1 Billion Users per Month, but they are Contributing just 643 Millions € to Musicians, who, of course, are UnHappy...


    - "So : 68 Millions of Users = 2 Billions €", in the First Case.  But "1 Billion Users = just 0,6 Billion €", he noted.


    Therefore, "we (EU) tried to make it more Clear : When Platforms are Selling many Value-Added Products, but withOut Remuneration, f.ex. by Advertizing, they say that it's Not well Known what happens there, Because we are just Neutral Intermediaries", etc.


    - So, we Tried to Find some Other kinds of Platforms of Distribution, which are Not so Expensive, but Allow for Authors to be more Fairly Remunerated, Ansip pointed out.   

 
    In this regard, f.ex., "YouTube" is Not the only one... In the case of anOther, for 10.000 Songs, you have to Pay some 400 € in Total : it's not too much", he observed.


    >>> "Once Again" : What matters most, is "to Provide Better Access to Digital Content, and to Provide (also) Fair Remuneration to our Authors" : Both Those 2 Things are very Important for this Matter,  the competent EU Commission's vice-President reiterated in Conclusion of his Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question.



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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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