The European Commission has adopted an EU Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights, together with a Strategy for the protection and enforcement of IP rights in third countries.
The EU Action Plan sets out ten specific actions providing for new enforcement policy tools to address in particular commercial scale IP-infringing activity. These activities are extremely harmful and represent a key challenge for the EU as they undermine investment in innovation and sustainable job creation. These new (non- legislative) tools include stakeholder dialogues around the so-called “follow the money” approach, versions of which have been trialled in many markets in Europe and beyond, with the aim being for all stakeholders to co-operate so as to deprive commercial-scale IP infringers of their revenue flows.
European commercial TV stations welcomed the European Commission’s initiative. Commercial broadcasters face major challenges with regard to IP enforcement in the online environment where infringement can also take place outside the EU’s borders. Encouraging the cooperation of intermediaries (e.g. Internet service providers, search engines, hosting service providers, payment intermediaries and advertising services) is an important step in creating a vibrant audiovisual ecosystem that rewards investment in content creation.
Ross Biggam, Director-General of the Association of Commercial Television commented that:
The ACT welcomes these publications as a commitment to enforcing IP rights of companies that invest heavily in creative content. Piracy and unauthorised distribution of TV content impacts on commercial broadcasters' ability to invest in the next season of creative, journalistic and sporting programmes. Currently around 40% of European commercial broadcasting groups’ revenues are reinvested in programme content, totalling €15 billion a year or €41 million a day. We therefore welcome this evidence that the European Commission takes seriously the enforcement of intellectual property rights and we are optimistic that the new tools will over time play a part in decreasing commercial-scale infringement. We look forward to the dialogues and hope all stakeholders join these discussions in a co-operative and collaborative frame of mind”
ACT Director General