Europe’s creators – support authors’ rights // Soutenez les créateurs européens
- soutenez le droit d’auteur
So many things have been said about copyright. A lot of
it nonsense! Over the past few years, copyright has been accused of
preventing works from being distributed, creating obstacles to consumer’s
access to works, lining the pockets of the rich and worse still, standing
in the way of freedom of expression.
On 5th December, at the initiative of José Manuel
Barroso, President of the European Commission, the College of Commissioners
will meet to examine initiatives that the Commission might adopt in the
field of copyright.
Should the worst be feared? This is a valid question,
especially when you consider the interconnections and almost cosiness that
exist between some very powerful private anti-copyright lobbyists and certain
departments and directorates of the Commission. Let there be no mistake; the
message emerging is that copyright is the enemy of consumers and their desire
to access culture. This is not just the opinion of a few personalities
marginalized within Europe.
The fight against copyright, and against the right of authors to
live from their art and receive fair compensation, forms the focus of an entire
coalition: namely lobbyists from the leading companies on the Net who seek to
exempt themselves both from their tax commitments to Member States and their
obligations towards cultural diversity and creation; certain consumer lobbies
who consider the total and immediate satisfaction of their constituency a
necessity, regardless of the negative, harmful impact for cultural industries,
jobs in culture and for the funding of future creativity; European
administrative departments and even commissioners who confine authors’ rights
and cultural diversity to old boundaries, thus irremediably excluding them from
the digital world.
Authors’ rights are, of course, an old concept, several
centuries old, but also surprisingly modern, supple and flexible. Modern
authors’ rights are the work of a genius, Beaumarchais, who marked his era with
all his battles for freedom. For one hundred years, technological developments
have proceeded at an ever increasing pace to say the very least. Authors’
rights have kept pace with those developments and have continued to safeguard a
key principle, namely the right of authors to enjoy fair compensation for the
use made of their works, while facilitating public access to cultural works.
It is hard to imagine an author wanting to prevent his work, film,
book, music from being seen, recommended or discussed by the public. It is
however easy to imagine that convenience of the digital solution might pose a
threat to this particular human right (art.27 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights):
the author’s right to receive compensation whenever exploitation is made of
There are basic principles that no tablet, no smartphone, no new
service should undermine. Respecting authors’
rights is one of them.
However, every day in Europe,
where authors’ rights began, their influence is being contested, their scope is
under attack, their collective management criticized. Every day, new
exceptions, or rather expropriations, are being proposed; every day, mechanisms
that make it possible to finance creation are being contested in the name of
free competition; every day, private copying remuneration is being denigrated.
In a nutshell, all sources of revenue for authors are under threat and attack.
For the benefit of whom? Obviously not the creators themselves,
whose general situation is becoming more and more precarious in many countries!
And certainly not the consumers, whose access to works is not facilitated by
the questioning of authors’ rights and for whom the cost of acquiring digital
equipment is not reduced in any way by lowering the payments to authors!
Commissioners, you are meeting on 5th December under the
watchful eye of creators, who contribute to the future identity of Europe. For these creators, authors’ rights are still the
best guarantee of fair remuneration and their greatest hope to be able to
continue to create.
‘Europe loves Cinema’, ‘Europe loves culture’? These are catchy slogans, but they must be put into practice
and, more importantly, a new one must be coined: ‘Europe
loves authors’ rights’!
The following creators have already signed. Support them,
sign the petition!
Robert Alberdingk Thijm, Marco Bellocchio, Lucas Belvaux, FredBreinersdorfer,
Jean-Claude Carrière, Nicola Ciralosa, Stijn Coninx, Costa-Gavras, Luc et
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Anna Di Francisca, Hervé Di Rosa,
Jacques Fansten, Marco
Tullio Giordana, Ugo Gregoretti, Michel Hazanavicius, Jan Hřebejk, Agnès Jaoui, Pavol Kráľ, Paul Laverty, MikeLeigh, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, Carlo Lizzani, Ken
Radu Mihaileanu, Roger Michell, Rebecca O’Brien, Jorge
Paixão Da Costa, Andrea Porporati, Paul Powell, Andrea Purgatori, Giovanni Robbiano, Jean-Paul Salomé, Volker Schlöndorff, Ettore Scola, Hugh Stoddart, Bela Tarr, Bertrand Tavernier, Fernando Trueba, Enrique Urbizu, Jaco Van Dormael, A. Vitorino De
Almeida, Wim Wenders, SusannaWhite, Krzysztof Zanussi
985 Name: Jacques Coulardeau
on Nov 29, 2012
Comments: I support authors' rights because they are attached to a
work that has to be protected too against any violation, including from
To avoid that on the main square or squares of European capitals with books and CDs and DVDs andother works of art crucified to the greed of corporations and of the public who both would like to have them free from the authors or artists. I must say it would look nice On Place de la Concorde in Paris or on Trafalgar Square in London.