[drn-discuss] summaries of the creative economy conference

Michelle Childs michelle.childs at cptech.org
Tue Oct 11 12:14:19 CDT 2005

DG Int Mrkt indicated that the report containing these options would be
produced at the end of this year. Its not clear  if there will be a EU
consultation or at MS level at that time. However given the reaction of
the rightsholders to the mere idea of some of the options I would expect
intense lobbying from them between now and then to change the report, so
it would be useful to remind DG Int Mrkt of the arguments against it.

> For any of you interested in the outcome of the Creative Economy
> conference and what went on there is a short post here:
>    http://drn.okfn.org/node/71
> with links to *excellent* and comprehensive summaries produced by
> Michelle Childs and Johanna Gibson. In particular I wish to highlight
> some info db directive from Ms Gibson (pasted below) which makes me
> think there should be some attempt to make a submission regarding the
> database directive asap (does anyone know whether there is a formal
> consultation taking place?).
> Regards,
> Rufus
> <quote>
> The debate I wish to highlight was that over the Database Directive. The
> representatives from the Commission (DG Internal Market) introduced the
> discussion, outlining the uncertainty with respect to the success and /
> or necessity of the Database Directive (particularly after the recent
> ECJ cases of British Horseracing Board and Fixture Marketing; the
> absence of any similar sui generis right in the US; and the possibility
> of compilation copyright providing the necessary protection). In
> response to this uncertainty, a Report is being prepared, and the
> Commission representative set out the 4 options open to be considered in
> that report, in the light of these decisions:
> 1. do nothing and simply wait to see if further ECJ jurisprudence
> clarifies the scope of the right;
> 2. considering stakeholders that have an interest in the sui generis
> right, option 2 is to amend the Directive to correct what might be
> perceived to be a defect;
> 3. withdraw the right on the basis that it has not had its intended
> effect either in law or in terms of economic effect, and allow member
> states to revert to the system they had previously (sweat of the brow /
> compilation copyright);
> 4. look at the viability of the Directive, not simply the sui generis
> right, with a view to withdrawing the Directive.
> Options 3 and 4 were met with some heated (almost emotional) responses
> from the publishing industry, or at least, from 2-3 individuals (I say
> 2-3, because the 3rd was rushed in during the debate to beef up the
> statements of its colleague). The statements were frequently incorrect
> as to the law (for instance, a statement regarding the absence of
> publishers' rights) and claimed that the entire objective of this
> creative economy conference was the generation of wealth for the
> industry, despite the rhetoric that the conference was for the
> generation of diversity in creativity and in creative production, of
> which industry is one aspect. A creative economy surely depends upon not
> only rights-holders, but also those with whom the products are
> exchanged. Of note, the publishers also suggested that the database
> right does no-one any harm and so there's no reason to get rid of it. If
> the right does no harm (implying that it has no impact on access), then
> there must be no need for the industry to require such regulation (there
> is no risk) so one might ask why the right is needed in the first place.
> Nevertheless, the publishers' interventions were met with reasoned,
> critical, and informed responses from the Commission. When they demanded
> to be heard in the form of any impact assessment, the Commission stated
> that such input would be welcome and that in fact they had been asking
> for it for some time.
> </quote>
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Michelle Childs -Head of European Affairs
Consumer Project on Technology in London
24, Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX,UK.
Tel:+44(0)207 226 6663 ex 252.
Mob:+44(0)790 386 4642. Fax: +44(0)207 354 0607

Consumer Project on Technology in Washington, DC
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Consumer Project on Technology in Geneva
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