This global interconnectedness has been a catalyst of freedom of expression and information on a global scale, but the ease of copying and sharing information has at the same time challenged existing industries whose business models are based on copyright.
Established industries like the music business, film companies and traditional publishers have by and large responded to the disruptive impact of the Internet by pushing for strict enforcement of copyright law, rather than by adapting to the new digital reality. But the laws they want to see so vigorously enforced mostly stem from the pre-Internet era. As a result, strict enforcement in the digital age risks undermining fundamental rights when it involves deep packet inspection or disproportionate blocking of websites. At the same time, enforcement by private actors such as internet service providers risks by-passing judicial oversight.
As politicians, we MEPs are not in the business of protecting vested business interests at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms. Modernising our copyright laws for the digital era would lead to a win-win outcome. The opportunities for easier access to culture and knowledge with the help of digital technologies will benefit creators, internet users, consumers, SMEs and Europe's competitive position in the world alike. We should therefore focus on protecting the public interest by defending digital freedoms and adapting EU copyright law to the digital age.