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In Letter to EU’s Presidency, BSA Outlines Policy Priorities to Advance a Digital Single Market in Europe

19-Jan-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 6605
WASHINGTON - In a letter to the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) this week proposed four key principles to foster the growth of what has come to be known as the “digital single market” in Europe.

“In times of financial, economic and European crisis, the need for a well-functioning single market is as important as ever,” wrote BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “An integrated single market is vital for the next generation of online services, such as cloud computing. This sector hosts some of the most innovative, leading companies in today’s economy, spanning from large multi-national companies to small start-ups and SME’S, which are among the key drivers of Europe’s economic growth, providing cloud services and solutions to the benefit of governments, businesses, consumers and Europe’s competitiveness.”

“For these companies to continue to flourish and provide the economic benefits of services such as cloud, they need a single market that provides legal certainty, encourages investment and is technologically neutral. We believe that the digital single market should be guided by the following principles,” Holleyman wrote:

Maintaining a robust framework for the protection of personal data at the same time ensuring that these rules are structured in a way to facilitate, rather than undermine Europe’s Digital Single Market. We believe a harmonized set of rules on how EU citizens’ data is protected is fundamental in achieving a thriving digital single market. In order to foster continued innovation in Europe’s ICT sector, we need a flexible approach that promotes and allows for a high level of data protection and security, encourages investment, provides legal certainty, and facilitates the free flow of information and data. The regime should remain technology-neutral, focus on substantive outcomes rather than prescriptive requirements, and reduce compliance burdens for data controllers and processors. Europe must balance the fundamental right to privacy with the fundamental right to property — and reinforce the ability to protect these rights.

Consolidating the EU framework of rules for protecting Intellectual Property Rights to meet new challenges of globalization and technology developments. As shown in the 2011 BSA Global Piracy Study, the sheer volume and financial value of piracy in Europe remains alarming, bearing a harmful impact on Europe’s economy, ICT sector, and European citizens. BSA calls for the ongoing EU initiatives for IPR protection to introduce stronger deterrence mechanisms, expand the toolbox of measures to tackle Internet piracy, to review rules on damages, make Europe’s enforcement regime more effective and pursue and finalize international trade agreements to this end. BSA welcomes the efforts undertaken with regards to revision of the IPR Enforcement Directive as well as the proposal regarding collective rights management of IPR expected in 2012. 

Understanding the need for flexibility to innovate against rapidly evolving threats and supporting data stewardship as shared responsibility. BSA is delighted to see that the issue of cybersecurity and a potential EU cybersecurity strategy will be a priority on the EU Agenda in 2012. Cybersecurity is a fast-paced race. We must have leeway to adapt quickly and stay ahead of cyber threats, whilst encouraging the widest-possible choice of cutting-edge security solutions. BSA believes that the technology industry, governments, businesses and consumers all have important roles to play and responsibilities to fulfill in safeguarding personal and commercial data. Furthermore, with cloud computing on the rise, international and intergovernmental dialogue about harmonizing the increasingly inconsistent web of rules that threatens to prevent data from flowing seamlessly across borders is extremely important. BSA looks forward to continuing a dialogue with the Presidency on that matter and contributing with its expertise on the issue.

Supporting innovation through public procurement policies that are technology-neutral, open, fair, non-discriminatory, at the same time helping to create symmetry in access to public procurement markets in the EU and in third countries. BSA welcomes the emphasis from the Danish Presidency on the directives on public procurement and the standardization package. We believe these initiatives are important to ensure a level and fair playing field for all stakeholders concerned. However, it is vital to stress that these initiatives should not discriminate against technologies and business models, but should focus on achieving best value for money. Government policies that focus on enabling competition and promoting choice will accelerate innovation.

The Business Software Alliance is the leading global advocate for the software industry.
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