Neelie Kroes European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda A digital world of opportunities Forum d’A

@neeliekroeseu seems to actually, really get it.

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If there is one thing that defines and elevates Europe, it is culture. Or rather, a rainbow of cultures.

Taking a long-term perspective we can see three major technological revolutions since the development of the written word that have affected the dissemination of culture. First, the printing press. Second, the industrial revolution. And now third, the information and communications technologies revolution.

I believe that those who will prosper in the digital age are those who understand that convergence is one of the keys. The convergence of media provides an incredible opportunity for the artists and creators of our times, and also for their public – you and me.

Just like cinema did not kill theatre, nor did television kill radio. The internet won’t kill any other media either.

My goal, in promoting cultural diversity and content adapted to the digital age, is for European creativity to be even stronger. Europe has boundless cultural wealth to offer its citizens, and indeed to the world. Europe is and must remain a global cultural force.

Today our fragmented copyright system is ill-adapted to the real essence of art, which has no frontiers. Instead, that system has ended up giving a more prominent role to intermediaries than to artists. It irritates the public who often cannot access what artists want to offer and leaves a vacuum which is served by illegal content, depriving the artists of their well deserved remuneration. And copyright enforcement is often entangled in sensitive questions about privacy, data protection or even net neutrality.

Instead of a dysfunctional system based on a series of cultural Berlin walls, I want a return to sense. A system where there is scope to create new opportunities for artists and creators, and new business models that better fit the digital age. We want to help you seize the opportunities of this age.



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