Dear Sylvie Hubac, Director of Cabinet of the President of the Republic
Dear Pierre-François Racine, President of the Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique
Madam Vice-Chair, dear Anne-Elisabeth Crédeville,
Secretary General, dear Jean-François Collin,
Dear Laurence Franceschini, Director of Media and Cultural Industries,
Distinguished Persons, Members of the High Council,
I am very pleased and honoured to see you again this morning in the plenary session of the Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique.
Special session in two capacities, since it constitutes the passage of witness between Pierre-François Racine, new President of the Conseil Supérieur, appointed on 2 October, and Sylvie Hubac, former President, who has been called to other positions for several months now.
Under your presidency, dear Sylvie Hubac, the Conseil Supérieur has been able, since 16 June 2011, to resume its work with serenity after two years of interruption. I would like to thank you warmly for your continued efforts to ensure that the Commission addresses issues crucial to the future of literary and artistic property. This is evidenced by the rapid adoption, in November 2011, of a report on the proposed directive on orphan works, which helped guide the Ministry in the negotiations prior to the adoption of this text. It is enough, if we were to be convinced, to go through the agenda of this session to see the richness of the subjects of study that were launched under your presidency: collective management, “cloud computing” and referencing works in particular.
It is also with great joy, dear Pierre-François Racine, that I open this meeting, the first of your mandate. I thank you for agreeing to chair this body, which is rich in skills and talents, and which I know I can count on for the upcoming cultural projects of my Ministry. Your rich experience and your great competence will be in great demand: I hope that you will succeed fully.
The composition of the Conseil Supérieur, which reflects the diversity of sensibilities and interests represented, makes it, in my view, a unique place for exchanges between the various actors in the world of literary and artistic property and the creative chain. Authors, performers, publishers, producers, broadcasters and operators, consumers and users: you are all free to express yourselves and to compare your points of view, in order to arrive at solutions satisfactory and acceptable to the various interests involved.
A veritable laboratory of ideas, the Conseil Supérieur has been particularly productive and has produced numerous reports and opinions on topics as varied as video games, orphan works, copyright of public officials, the responsibility of Internet intermediaries or the relations between literary and artistic property law and competition law.
The expertise developed within this body has proved invaluable over the years to enable the public authorities to understand the most sensitive and complex issues in a constantly changing economic and legal world. I know that under the aegis of eminent personalities, various specialized committees meet regularly, whose work I would like to commend here.
During this meeting, you will be presented with the fruits of a year of work of the committee on
“Cloud computing”, chaired by Anne-Élisabeth Crédeville, Jean-Pierre Dardayrol and Jean Martin, all assisted by Fabrice Aubert. By giving a voice to the operators of these new consumer services, they have been able to draw up an overview of existing offers and analyse them legally to determine which legal regimes they should fall under. This work will be very useful to support the development of these services at national and Community level, since the European Commission presented in September a strategy on «cloud computing».
I am also thinking of the study of tools for referencing works on the Internet, entrusted to professors Valérie-Laure Benabou and Joëlle Farchy, which makes it possible to make the link between the actors who develop and produce protected works and those who provide access to them.
I am sure that the CSPLA can provide interesting answers on the issues of indexing content and greater or lesser visibility of licit and illicit offers, whose timeliness is particularly rich.
Knowing how to adapt our law to the digital age is also the ambition of the commission on the publishing contract chaired by Professor Pierre Sirinelli, who, alongside Anissia Morel, has advanced considerably the discussions between authors and publishers of books. A work of mediation is currently continuing outside this forum in order to achieve tangible results in the book sector alone. It will then be possible, I hope, to continue this work within the High Council and to broaden the scope of reflection to other sectors.
The Superior Council has recently had the opportunity to put its expertise at the service of the Ministry to prepare the position of the French authorities on draft European texts by making it possible to make useful consultations among the various stakeholders.
Thus, after an analysis conducted in 2011 on the proposal for a directive on orphan works, the CSPLA entrusted this summer to Professor Valérie-Laure Benabou and Maître Jean Martin for the analysis of the proposed directive on collective management. Their conclusions on the measures envisaged by the Commission
European governance and transparency of collective management companies, on the one hand, and multi-territorial and multi-directory licenses, on the other hand, are all the more expected as our country’s voice on these issues, because of its long tradition of collective management, will have a particular resonance.
As you know, all of your thoughts and proposals fall within a very rich political context in terms of literary and artistic property.
In accordance with the commitments made by the President of the Republic, I entrusted Pierre Lescure on July 18 with the conduct of a consultation mission on digital content and cultural policy in the digital age, including proposals on “Act II of the cultural exception” will be presented in March 2013.
The objective of this Act II is to put culture back at the heart of public policies by adapting the French economic model to the digital age. Digital innovations and the multiplication of practices in the use of cultural content require today an adaptation of the various instruments put in place to guarantee the diversity of creation and its remuneration, while promoting the accessibility of works. It is essential that copyright and neighbouring rights be able to accompany the development of unlimited consumer offers offered to consumers.
The mission entrusted to Pierre Lescure deals with all sectors of creation: cinema, audiovisual, music, book, press, photo and video game. The field it covers corresponds to the issues on which the CSPLA is working, namely the impact of digital technology on cultural policies.
Its scope includes, of course, the defence of copyright and the fight against infringements to the detriment of creators. Rest assured in this regard that defending copyright is a very topical battle for the Government. I asked the Lescure mission to formulate proposals on this subject, because everyone knows my strong questions about the Hadopi device, which in my opinion has not sufficiently contributed to the development of the legal offer.
This is the second aspect of the Lescure mission, which concerns the development of the legal offer and the fight against commercial counterfeiting.
As such, I expect the Lescure mission to propose ways to combat illegal streaming and direct downloading. Hadopi’s action in this area has been insufficient, because we know that new practices have developed in recent years and that the law cannot be satisfied with a reference to a state of the art such as “peer-to-peer” downloading.
The contribution of the main players in the Internet and the manufacturers of computer and electronic equipment to the culture economy is also a major topic for seeking new sources of financing and redistribution.
Powerful actors, often foreign, offer innovative and global services to which we must adapt. We can see, in the light of the German debates on a compensation by the search engines of the media and the editors of online press, which have had in recent days an important echo in France, that the issues of relations between different businesses and activities and regulation are raised every day in the digital world.
Some people, pessimists, talk about a pot of earth versus a pot of iron. I don’t think so. Some lines have recently shifted, and important actors, aware of their role and responsibility in disseminating knowledge and culture, have sent signals in support of rights holders' concerns.
I am thinking, for example, of the announcement made by Google in August regarding the modification of its algorithm, aimed at making it easier for an Internet user to find works of lawful source. Google now takes illegal content notifications into account in its SEO system, so that content reported repeatedly as illegal will appear less easily in users' search results. On another note, for the time being less peaceful, the debates on the draft neighbouring law of the press publishers show all the news of intellectual property law and its crucial importance: we must not hesitate to use the "toolbox" this right to serve the crucial objectives of support for creation and cultural diversity.
Defending copyright is important, but rebuilding it is essential. In a difficult European and international context, it is more necessary than ever to show that France continues to be a force for proposals. The law passed on March 1, 2012 on unavailable books, which makes it possible to make books that are no longer distributed in print or digital form available to the public again, is an example of a successful national initiative, at the time of the creation of vast digital libraries.
France, recognized worldwide for the quality of its law and its tradition of protecting authors and artists, must maintain them at a high level. It must be at the forefront of the recasting of copyright in the digital age, a cultural policy in which the CSPLA is primarily involved.
I am counting on you because your role is essential.
I therefore warmly greet this morning the members of the Superior Council and all the organizations that are members of it, and I wish you every success in your work.