European citizens enjoy more creative works and services, both online & offline, than ever before
The Commission released its evaluation report on the implementation of the Regulation on unjustified Geo-blocking, which has been in application for less than two years (since December 2018). Creativity Works!, a leading European coalition of the cultural and creative sectors, welcomes the Commission’s thorough evaluation which concludes that the available evidence does not warrant a modification of the Regulation’s scope.
We are encouraged by the recognition of “different market dynamics” in our sectors, that the “beneficial effects, in particular for consumers” of an extension of the Regulation’s scope are not clearly demonstrated and that the licensing and legitimate geo-enabling practices which underpin Europe’s Digital Single Market continue to be fully justified.
The ability to adapt offers to local market conditions, language preferences and cultural tastes contributes to Europe’s rich content diversity in the cultural and creative sectors. Territorial exclusivity enables content creation, financing, production and optimal distribution.
Laura Houlgatte, Chair of Creativity Works!, states: “We support territoriality and ‘Geo-enabling’, as it protects cultural diversity and boosts consumer choice. We – audiovisual, film, video games, books, pictures, football leagues and music – all stand united in promoting and defending these fundamental principles.”
The creative and cultural industries (CCIs) have been one of the sectors most affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic. However, CCIs have also proven their resilience and their importance in the everyday life of European citizens who have been enjoying – during these arduous times – 70 million musical works, on more than 200 licensed digital services; over 3,000 On-Demand Audiovisual Services (VOD); more than 2 million e-book titles; and countless images making the internet the vibrant and engaging place we currently enjoy. Video games have also delivered experiences that enrich the daily lives of more than 54% of all Europeans. European citizens going back in number to cinema, bookstores etc after the first lockdown is further testimony of the importance of culture in their lives.
Laura Houlgatte adds: “The recent Council Conclusions on safeguarding media pluralism recognise the crucial role of territoriality and exclusivity1. EU decision makers also recognised the creative and cultural sectors as a strategic industry for Europe in May 2020. We rely on them to continue to support a key enabler of content creation, production and distribution.”
1 Council Conclusions on safeguarding a free and pluralistic media system. Council Document 12814/20 adopted in written procedure 27 November 2020 – publication in the EU Official Journal pending
The CCIs are key contributors of digital growth and Europe’s third largest employer
The creative and cultural sectors are a European strategic asset, and a significant provider of jobs and economic growth. According to the EUIPO/European Observatory, CCIs generated approximately € 509 billion in 2018 and represented 5.3% of the EU’s total GDP before the COVID-19 crisis. CCIs employ 15 million people2 (directly and indirectly), representing 7.5% of the EU’s employment workforce and making our industries the third largest employer3 sector in the EU.
About Creativity Works!
As a leading European coalition of the cultural and creative sectors, our diverse membership includes video games developers and publishers, broadcasters, writers and screenwriters, book publishers and retailers, cinema operators, sports organisers, picture agencies, music and films/TV producers, publishers and distributors:
Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT); Center of the Picture Industry (CEPIC); The European Audiovisual Production Association (CEPI); European and International Booksellers’ Federation (EIBF); European Writers’ Council (EWC); Federation of European Publishers (FEP); International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations (FIAD) ; International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations (FIAPF); Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE); International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP); Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA); Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE); International Video Federation (IVF); International Union of Cinemas (UNIC); La Liga ; La Ligue Française de Football; MEDIAPRO; Motion Picture Association (MPA); The Premier League ; VAUNET Verband Privater Medien e.V.