An Authors`Open Letter to the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council
The “European Creators’ Forum”, represented by artists from European countries, met in Brussels on 18th February 2004 to jointly discuss the topic of “Authors’ rights in the EU and Globalisation: Cultural Diversity in Unity vs. Economic interest of the IT Industry” with members from the European Parliament and experts of the Directorates-General. The round-table discussion was organised by the European Writers’ Congress. Annemarie Helmer-Heichele, member of the IGBK Executive Committee, represented the International Association of Art Europe (IAA Europe) with a statement on harmonization of droit de suit.
On the occasion of this meeting an open letter was presented. European artists are invited to contact the IGBK office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to undersign this open letter:
“We the undersigned, representing creators in all the media throughout Europe, and having regard to the spread of digital technology and globalisation, urge you, our legislators and administrators, to take into full consideration in every sphere of your activity, the implementation of the spirit and letter of Article 151.4 of the Treaty of Amsterdam requiring an awareness of and support for the intellectual and cultural wealth of the European Union.
Such, we believe, can only be achieved by a recognition of the fundamental role of the creators as the indispensable basis for the media industries which now provide 6% of European GDP and employment for millions throughout the Member States in bringing the products of the individual creator's skill and imagination before the public.
Historically Europe has been both the cultural reservoir and the seedbed of the modern world. Traditionally our development of Author's Rights legislation has ensured the conditions in which the unique European contribution of innovative diversity has been able to thrive and find its audience, its opportunity to influence minds and lives.
Now however our cultural heritage and future in all their multi-facetted expression are under threat from that corporate homogenisation, made easier by the misuse of new technology, which stems from the unreflecting and unmitigated adoption of the doctrine of the supremacy of market forces and their ability alone to provide all that is necessary for the human body and spirit.
Only by continuing to support the creators, always the weaker bargaining party, in their struggle to maintain the principle of creative diversity, can you, our legislators, ensure freedom of creation and expression, a true choice for the consumer and a future for the continuing European contribution to global culture which is too important to be left to corporate accounting.
As you support the physical environment in all its richness and diversity so we urge you to support its intellectual and cultural counterpart by protecting authors' rights and their livelihood against the abuse and impoverishment of individual creators and their works.”
Brussels, February 18th 2004