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Publishers Call On Legislators To Protect Press Freedom:
Berlin Declaration Launched To Address Digital Challenges

21 March 2023

Global and European publishers are calling on legislators to protect existing press freedoms that allow the press to fulfil its role in society as a vital source of information and pillar of democracy. In the Berlin Declaration, launched on 17 March in advance of the Internet G8 taking place in France in May, publishers are calling for:

  • strong copyright protection
  • reduced vat rates for online as well as printed press
  • fair competition and transparency in the digital world
  • freedom to innovate
  • no further legal obstacles to press freedom

EPC (European Publishers Council) Chairman Francisco Pinto Balsemão said: “This is an important initiative providing a platform for publishers worldwide to raise awareness of the enormous challenges facing the content industry that is striving against the odds to compete and innovate. It is vital that we continue to support quality content and journalism in a digital age because, without our investment in rich, diverse, costly content, the digital environment would be a poor and uninviting place. We seek a level online playing field where our copyright is respected and where fair competition and transparency encourage us and indeed allow us to innovate and invest – to fuel a content-rich digital economy.”

This Berlin Declaration on the Future of the Digital Press was first launched by the Periodical Press at their Digital Innovators Summit on 17 March 2023 in Berlin. It is now open for signature. Publishers from all over the world and any other interested stakeholders that share the views expressed in this Berlin Declaration are invited to add their signatures here: http://www.berlindeclaration.eu

This Declaration follows on from the Hamburg Declaration on intellectual property rights launched by publishers in 2009 at: http://www.encourage-creativity.org/

Mr Balsemão continued: “With EU legislators poised to make crucial decisions on copyright legislation that will determine our future, and many other decisions due on VAT, libel and defamation, and competition, to name but a few, all publishers small and large need to make a stand and signal to regulators what is at stake for publishers, for consumers and for the digital economy if the value of the press is not respected.”

For further information, please contact Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265 or visit https://epceurope.org. To see the full text of the Declaration, go to: www.berlindeclaration.eu