Brussels, 2 August 2010 – When responding to the Commission consultation on the Green Paper on Creative & Cultural Industries presented by DG Education and Culture earlier this year, the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT – www.acte.be) welcomed the recognition of the creative sector as a central part of the Digital Agenda and the wider EU economy as laid down in the EU 2020 Strategy.
Commenting on the Commission Green Paper, Ross Biggam, Director General ACT, said: "This Green Paper is a welcome contribution to the ongoing debate about the new digital economy, and the respective roles of creative content, networks and public authorities in that economy. At the EU level, this debate is of course largely centered around the EU's Digital Agenda, and we regard this Green Paper as a welcome signal that the interests of the creative sector will remain centre stage in the Digital Agenda".
The ACT would like to highlight the most relevant points in the Green Paper:
- The ACT welcomes the inclusive nature of the definition of "creative and cultural industries", clearly capturing the production and distribution of television programming within its definition.
- It is crucial to protect professionally-produced content.
- Despite the economic downturn, European commercial broadcasters continue to develop a wide range of new and innovative business models. In the past three years, 720 new on-demand and catch-up audiovisual services have been launched in Europe and broadcasters are investing in High Definition content and, increasingly, in 3D broadcasts. Hybrid devices will shortly be launched.
- Piracy continues to threat the continued existence of the broadcasting sector and limits its potential to generate jobs and investment. The ACT relies on the support of the Commission in ensuring that rights holders have the necessary tools to enforce IPR. Without adequate protection of its assets, the creative sector will find it very difficult to deliver its full contribution to economic growth and innovation.
- Audiovisual content is available to European consumers on multiple platforms (terrestrial, cable, satellite, IPTV, mobile, etc.) and through multiple devices. This system works well in practice. The existing licensing model for rights has been developed through commercial negotiations over many years, provides stakeholders with the flexibility required to license rights (for broadcasting and other means of distribution) on a national, linguistic or multi-territorial basis, according to commercial requirements.
Territorial exclusivity will continue to underpin the business models of a large number of media service providers and rights holders. This does not, however, preclude industry from adopting EU-wide or multi-territory licensing models where there is a commercial basis to do so. There is, therefore, no need to foster the multi-territory circulation of audiovisual content.
- The commercial television sector does not call for significant new financial support for the creative industries. While targeted, time-specific financial instruments such as the MEDIA Programme can play a useful role, ACT members would caution that systematic, long-term state funding of creative industries is not the optimum way for regulators to intervene to support the creative sector.
To see the full text of the ACT response, please see the ACT website