Cultural diversity

Cultural policies and measures - Best practices

European Union – European Commission highlights the opportunities of convergence and globalization for the contents market, 2006/03/06

European Commission has called upon European creative industries to discover within the increased convergence and globalization of the contents market an opportunity rather than a menace, and has presented a group of measures aimed at supporting competitiveness in the sector on the world market.

In a speech in Vienna last March 2 upon the occasion of a seminar of the Austrian Presidency on the theme "Contents and competitiveness", Mr. Rudolf Strohmeier, principal private secretary to the Commissioner responsible for information and the media, Mrs. Viviane Reding, stated that the rapid convergence of broadband networks, audiovisual media and electronic equipment is going to create new opportunities in the fields of information and communication technologies (ICT) and contents. "Another significant change induced by convergence is the globalization of the contents market ", added Mr. Strohmeier. "As a consequence, world competition for contents distribution increases and challenges facing European creative industries become naturally worldwide".

In this respect, Mr. Strohmeier introduced the different specific measures proposed within the global initiative. He nevertheless considers that it is difficult to envisage a strong contents industry without sufficient protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) but, in this domain, Europe, with its 25 different IPR systems, allows competitive disadvantage: "If, on a long term basis, we want European creative and contents industries to be able to face the challenges of international competition (...), perhaps should we question the territoriality of copyright protection in Europe", he declared. "European creative and contents industries should not consider the changes brought about convergence and globalization as a threat. We believe that industry, States and the Commission’s combined efforts to turn convergence to best account will lead to the creation of a truly dynamic domestic market for European contents", concluded Mr. Strohmeier.

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