Magazine article Screen International

Puttnam Warns about European Copyright Policy Changes

Magazine article Screen International

Puttnam Warns about European Copyright Policy Changes

Article excerpt

In a speech at a Film Distributors' Association event yesterday, Lord Puttnam addressed "the very latest developments in Europe, which I believe present opportunities and challenges for us all."

He said:

Only last week, the European Parliament ratified the incoming team of Commissioners, so the executive branch of European law-making is now in place until 2020.

As part of its on-going Digital Agenda for Europe, the new Commission's in-tray includes the matter of copyright reform.

Facilitating the wider accessibility of a range of content is not only in the public interest, it's essential for rights-holders and distributors too. Business models have already been adapted to harness an ever broader range of digital platforms.

Some films are, of course, released simultaneously across borders within the EU and beyond - there are no licensing obstacles which prevent this from happening. My concern is not with the principle, nor the ambition.

None of us can afford to be constrained by practices that are determined or defined solely by the status quo.

As I've observed before, UK film distributors would certainly wish for a little more flexibility over digital release windows in today's converged media world. The typically uniform period of theatrical exclusivity is now being referred to openly, albeit to my mind rather too casually, as 'the piracy window'. …

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