EU commissioner bashes copyright law

The European Commissioner for Digital Agenda has hit out at EU copyright law, saying that it's focused on entirely the wrong things and that in times like these the artists should be the centre of it all.

Neelie Kroes, who has held the position since last year, spoke out at the Forum d'Avignon conference, saying that despite all efforts to curb copyright infringement it was actually growing and consumers had grown to hate the methods used by firms to stop it.

"We need to go back to basics and put the artist at the centre, not only of copyright law, but of our whole policy on culture and growth. In times of change, we need creativity, out-of-the-box thinking: creative art to overcome this difficult period and creative business models to monetise the art," The Inquirer reports Kroes as opining.

Kroes reportedly went on to say the industry needed to be more malleable, taking notes from the variety of art being created. "The platforms, channels and business models by which content is produced, distributed and used can be as varied and innovative as the content itself."

Kroes didn't rule out using the law to combat piracy and copyright infringement, but she said it needed to have the artists at heart. "We need to find the right rules, the right model to feed art, and feed artists. We need the legal framework to be flexible. The digital world changes quickly, and if allowed to do so can permit creativity in all stages of the chain. So we shouldn't prescribe a particular model, but set a framework allowing many new models to flourish."

Finishing up her speech, Kroes said that copyright holders should stop viewing companies like Netflix, iTunes and other methods of distribution with horror, and that instead they should embrace these new media of getting their content to consumers.

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