The European Commission is to update the region's copyright laws in a bid to preserve digital material and maintain the rights of citizens.
Neelie Kroes, EC vice president for the Digital Agenda, explained the importance of protecting the creative arts, and set out plans to ensure that intellectual property is protected for the right reasons.
Kroes argued that the internet supports, rather than "kills", other media, and that regular internet users are more likely to consume media than non-users.
"Just like cinema did not kill theatre, nor did television kill radio, the internet won't kill any other media either. Quite the contrary," she said.
"Look at the statistics: people who spend more time on the internet tend to read more, and to go to cinema and to concerts more often than the population as a whole."
European copyright laws need a refresh, according to Kroes, and need to be considered in the light of technological change. They are also fragmented and " ill-adapted to the real essence of art", which has no frontiers.
Perhaps most importantly, the EC is trying to distance itself from third-party intervention. Kroes claimed the current copyright system has given a prominent role to intermediaries despite them often acting in a heavy handed and unfair manner.
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