Axmedis 2007 conference
Axmedis 2007


  Panel 3  

Digital context, collective licensing and cultural diversity: the way forward

Is there a form of cultural diversity specific to today’s digital world?
How collective licensing is being adapted to the digital framework?
What are the challenges to be met by participating in and appropriating digital diversity in a context marked by
the economisation of cultural resources?

In a study presented to the EU’s Ministers of Culture on 13 November 2006, the European Commission put in
evidence the importance of the culture sector for the EU economy underlining its potential for creating more and
better jobs in the future. With its 5.8 million employees, the Culture sector employs more persons than the total
employed in Greece and Ireland put together. Further, the culture sector accounted for 2.6% of EU GDP in
2003, and experiences higher growth rates than the average of other sectors of the economy.

A further Europe-wide survey has revealed that two-thirds of Europeans feel that they share elements of a
collective culture. Nearly nine out of ten Europeans say that culture, cultural exchanges and intercultural
dialogue should have an important place in the EU.

These findings emerged from the recent Eurobarometer survey of people's views on culture, which was carried
out during the spring 2007. The survey covered 26,000 persons from all over Europe and from all walks of life.
On the other hand information society is booming.

In a recent speech Mrs Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said: “Convergence
of audiovisual media, broadband networks and electronic devices is generating new opportunities in the ICT
and content sectors. It is both creating new delivery channels for traditional formats and opening the path to the
development of interactive content and services.

Furthermore, we have a fantastic opportunity to make our cultural heritage accessible online.”
The issue is how finding solutions agreed among all the stakeholders, respecting the rights of the content owners
while boosting the digital content’s market.

In this framework regulatory aspects at European level are of great importance, also under a competition point
of view. This aspect will be deepened during this panel thanks to the participation of Mr Carlo Toffolon, of the
Unit Media of the DG COMP of the European Commission.

Collective licensing and the role of collecting societies is another interesting issue and Mrs Silvina Munich from
CISAC, the umbrella organization of the collecting societies worldwide, will contribute in clarifying this aspect.

Finally the approach of the electronic industry will be presented as well by a representative of this sector.


Carlo Toffolon, DG COMP European Commission
Silvina Munich, CISAC

Moderator: Massimo Baldinato, A.F.I. Italian Association of Phonographic Producers


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