The S&D Group welcomes today's announcement from the European Commission on copyright reform, cross border portability and digital contract law. The Group backs the Commission's call for easier access to content across Europe and wants to ensure consumer rights are protected in the digital market place.
Joe Weidenholzer, S&D Vice-President for the Digital Union, said:
"A revised copyright law is a chance for both Europe's cultural sector and its consumers. It could provide more clarity for citizens who purchase content online and give artists greater legal certainty and fairer remuneration, while at the same time tapping the full potential of the internet. Consumers and EU businesses need to know what their rights are regarding online content or services. While I am looking forward to working on the portability proposal, I am awaiting the Commission's legislative proposals on Copyright in order to make the necessary changes a reality."
Evelyn Regner, S&D spokesperson for the legal affairs, added:
"It is clear that current copyright laws in Europe need to be adapted for the 21st Century. The majority of citizens now get their information and entertainment legally online but are prevented from gaining the full use of these services when in another EU state. This doesn't make sense - we wouldn't buy a book or a CD which suddenly stops working when you go abroad, so why do we accept it from their online equivalents? The copyright communication from the Commission is a first step but it is lacking in direction. We hope that future proposals will be ambitious and respond to the needs of citizens and the cultural sector."
Speaking on the Commission's digital contract proposals, S&D MEP Evelyne Gebhardt said:
"The European Commission has learnt from the past mistakes and has managed to deliver a decent base for the upcoming negotiations in the Parliament. Although the proposals for a common contract law are positive, creating a separate legal regime for online sales and offline sales is the wrong approach. We must not limit this proposal to online transactions only, as we can't expect European consumers to accept two different laws - one for the web and another for face-to-face transactions. We in the S&D Group support efforts to create common rules for a new contract law; however not ones that would give European consumers less rights and remedies than under the current system."