EU: “internet piracy is a wake-up call”

The EU believes that creating a single, European-wide market for downloadable content could seriously dent people’s enthusiasm for illegal file-sharing.

EU Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to see prices and release dates of downloadable content from online stores such as iTunes made standard across Europe.

“It will be my key priority to work on a simple, consumer friendly legal framework for accessing digital content in Europe’s single market, while ensuring at the same time fair remuneration of creators,” she says.

According to Reding, current laws are ill-devised because they appear to force people, especially the young generation, to download content illegally.

“Internet piracy appears to become more and more sexy, in particular for the digital natives. Growing internet piracy is a vote of no-confidence in existing business models and legal solutions. It should a wake-up call for policy makers,” she concludes.

Reding is expected to seek the telecoms portfolio again in the next Commission after her five-year term ends later this year.

Her other priority is to speed up the digitalisation of books, citing statistics that claims 90% of books in European libraries no longer commercially available.

The Commission will also seek to encourage payments with the use of mobile telephones by proposing common rules for them: “The lack of common EU-wide standards and rules for ‘m-cash’ leaves the great potential of ‘m-commerce’ and the mobile web unexploited,” she argues.

The Commission will also work to popularise video-conferencing to cut the number of business trips, which would lower emissions of gases responsible for global warming.

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