EU Commisioner Talks Cross-Border Piracy and Spotify's Success in Midem Keynote: Watch

Andrus Ansip

Andrus Ansip, European Commissioner for Digital Single Market, holds a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels, March 25, 2015.

Andrus Ansip of the European Commission continued to make his case for a digital single market on Monday during a keynote interview at Midem. The former Estonian prime minister, who is the EU's pointman on all things DSM, focused much of his comments in Cannes on the scourge of piracy across Europe, and how a plan to modernize copyright law is badly needed.

"Today, the four basic freedoms in the EU -- free movement of people, goods, services, capital -- it's a reality in a physical [world] but it's not reality in the online world," he explained, according to TorrentFreak.

Ansip singled out cross-border geo-blocking of digital content, which largely prohibits access to goods purchased online from one country to the next. A person visiting a neighboring state can purchase a movie online, but is denied access to it when they get back home, thanks to geo-blocking, Ansip said.

"[The] music industry is a pioneer somehow," he said. "Geo-blocking is not a question" for an industry that enables access to music-related services across borders… "but there are other issues that are important for musicians."

The commission's plan to reform the copyright system is viewed as disruptive by some content creators, but Ansip cautioned that "people here in this room" -- i.e., music industry folk -- don't need need to be worried.

"Our aim is to create a win-win situation," he said. "I would like to enjoy, I will pay, creators will get more money. This is our way. We don't want to destroy the whole copyright system based on a principle of territoriality. We have to allow cross-border access to digital content to all people, we have to allow portability."

European Commission Presses for Digital Reforms on the Continent

Anders stressed that the EU commission wants to protect the rights of creators but first it must ensure that digital content is available -- legally -- to all EU residents. "Then it will be more fruitful to tackle piracy," he said.

"In the European Union our creators are losing huge amounts of money because of piracy but honestly, somehow our legislation is pushing people to steal," he said.

Citing Spotify as a success story, Anders noted that if "somebody is able to provide services with better quality with higher speed, then people prefer to act as honest people. They are ready to pay. They don't want to steal."

Anders' comments follow a May 19th address to the European Parliament where he laid out the three major policy pillars of the DSM plan. The proposals for the digital single market will be on the agenda of the European Council meeting on June 25-26. A final draft of proposals will then go to individual European parliaments to be debated and potentially amended. The European parliament will then vote on a final draft.