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Alfons Karabuda bloggar från Creators Conference i Bryssel


Idag har jag haft det stora nöjet att inviga den femte upplagan av the Creators Conference, en konferens, hub och mötesplats för Europas alla upphovspersoner: journalister, filmskapare, författare. Och såklart: musikskapare!

Foto Gilda Romero

Creators Conference startades på Skaps initiativ 2009. Vad är då Creators Conference och varför ännu en konferens? Innan vi tog initiativet till konferensen  blev vi som upphovspersoner ofta inbjudna till konferenser för att addera till andras perspektiv. Med Creators Conference har vi nu en plattform för och av upphovspersoner där vi kan mötas och föra en dialog kring hur de kreativa näringarna och politiken borde samarbeta. Samarbeta för att skapa en hållbar näringskedja där kreativiteten kan leva och frodas. Därför skapade vi Creators Conference!

Vi upphovspersoner måste sitta i förarsätet när det gäller att utforma vår egen framtid, och det gör vi idag. 

Årets konferens var speciellt på så sätt att det är första gången som skapare från alla områden deltar och samtalar om utmaningar och möjligheter. Och det ligger helt i linje med hur jag tror att vi måste jobba i framtiden. Ska vi lyckas möta de utmaningar och gå starka ur dem måste vi stå enade. Tillsammans är vi starka!

Här kan ni läsa mitt öppningstal, visserligen på engelska men ändå.

This year’s edition of the Creators Conference is truly special not only because it takes place in light of the current discussions on the modernization of EU copyright rules; this year’s edition is also unique as Creators Conference opens up to authors from all creative sectors: music, literature, film, visual arts and of course journalism.

And this really reflects the true spirit of the the Creators Conference, which we launched in Stockholm in 2009. So why did we start the Creators Conference? The reason that my colleagues and I had when we started the Creators Conference was that we needed to be in the driver’s seat when shaping our own future. And as you might know, creators like to be in control… 
Before the Creators Conference we, as creators, were popular invités to conferences. There to add to others perspective. Now, we have a platform for AND by creators to dialogue and share views on how the cultural and creative industries policymakers should work together. Work together to create a sustainable environment where creativity can thrive. 
And one thing is certain, now more than ever we must stand strong together, And I am especially glad to continue our collaboration with the consumers today. Without the creators or the consumers the whole raison d’être of the value chain would collapse. So thank you BEUC for defending our rights. As we do yours! 
So let’s leave the glorious past for a bit and talk about the here and now. What about digital opportunities? What about artistic freedom? Today we will talk a lot about that. The digital era has opened possibilities for creativity and artistic freedom, that is beyond doubt. But sometimes it is easy to lose sight of our European values and principles in the discussions on the big hoopla of the digital single market. Culture has helped build our European nations, but our nations and the EU are not always creating the necessary frameworks for culture. 

Yes, we are seeing new distribution channels. But new content, new tools and the diamonds in the rough always emerge from diversity. Without cultural diversity: no blockbusters. No quality. No local content. Without the right to your expression through secured authors’ rights, including both economic and moral rights, the multiple originals will have to give way for short-term trends and followers rather than leaders and new inventions.

Strong rights for the individual creator is key!
And as Dan so eloquently put it: rewarding strong rights is how to foster the dynamic, entrepreneurial, creative spirit of writers, composers and filmmakers. We are therefore very pleased that we today will hear from European Commission VP Andrus Ansip about the Commission’s plans to modernise EU copyright rules.
Strong rights are an indispensable part of a sustainable value chain. And sustainability is about protecting both short and long term values. In a time when business models in the creative industry keep evolving at dizzying speed it is easy to be blinded by short time values. And we will talk about sustainability in digital exploitation later today in several panels.
So in a journey starting in the past, reflecting on the present, let’s turn to the future. Shaping a sustainable future is about sustainable values as artistic freedom and freedom of expression. 

These rights are not only essential to the work of journalists, but also songwriters, composers and all other creators too. Creators who must have the liberty to express their creative thoughts whilst of course respecting moral rights of others. 

And to be honest, these rights are not always granted; not even in Europe. Freedom of speech and of artistic creativity cannot be taken for granted. At any moment, they may be jeopardized, sometimes violently. And in a time when Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, artistic freedom and freedom of expression will be suffering. Freemuse will update us on the current situation in today’s first panel.
And on this somewhat serious note, please allow me Ladies and Gentlemen to move on to a lighter one.  As ECSA President, I have the great pleasure of welcoming you, to the fifth edition of the Creators Conference. I am delighted to welcome such a distinguished assembly of composers, film and TV directors, writers, journalists, visual artists, sontwriters etc.. EU policy-makers. Representatives of the cultural and creative industry. Collective management organisations. Cultural organisations: welcome to a full day of debates, networking opportunities and musical highlights! I hope you will enjoy this event as much as we enjoyed setting it up – only without the stress.
Before letting this exciting day fully begin, let me conclude with thanking you all for coming and for your interest in discussing creators’ issues with us. I would like to thank all partners and supporters of today’s event and President Martin Schulz in particular, who encouraged us so much to organize this year’s event.
And with this, ladies and gentlemen, I now declare the Creators Conference 2016 open!