The S&D Group in the European Parliament urge EU countries to harmonise their copyright laws to reinforce the rights of creative workers and authors as well as consumers online.  In a conference held today at the European Parliament, it was clear that Europe still lacks a digital single market and copyright levies can vary widely across the EU.
EU consumers' rights must be clear and equal everywhere. There is not yet a straightforward answer on private copies. Even those consumers who want to stick to the rules are not sure whether or not they are allowed to make private copies of their legally purchased music or movies. 
The current legislation needs to be simplified and improved to boost this market and trigger innovation.
Ensuring easier and broader access to the digital market for consumers cannot be set in opposition to the rights of artists and creators who want to earn a living.
In today's connected world everyone is potentially a creator and it is essential to distinguish between commercial and personal use. The S&D Group argue that taking criminal measures against private use, such as peer-to-peer sharing, is not the way forward.  
S&D vice-president Sylvie Guillaume said:
"Copyright is at a turning point as new technologies develop. The way to meet the challenges ahead of us, as Socialists and Democrats, must be based on respect for all stakeholders, whether they are artists or consumers, to find fair solutions for everyone involved.
"I think one crucial point that emerges from our debates is on the difficulty of striking the right balance and our group is fully committed to finding this balance."
Luigi Berlinguer MEP, S&D spokesperson on legal affairs, said:
"We want to take down the barriers between users and creators. We need to sort out the hurdles bottlenecks that are blocking progress in the field of copyright, innovation and creative business, on issues such as levies, mash-ups, open data, exceptions, cloud computing and multiple devices or platforms use.
"The existing copyright laws are now unhelpful for both the public and creators. This week we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the single market, but we still lack a digital single market".
Paolo Alberti
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