Despite their erosion in the digital era, intellectual property
rights are human rights protected under Article 1 of the Protocol
to the European Convention on Human Rights. Intellectual property
is an important cultural value and economic asset in Europe and
an erosion of intellectual property rights would have a negative
impact on all Europeans.
In accordance with Article 10 of the Convention on Cybercrime,
member States must adopt legislative and other measures to establish
the infringement of intellectual property rights as a criminal offence
under domestic law. Special attention should be given to operators
of Internet-based social networks and platforms with user-generated
content, which benefit financially from illegal content posted on
their sites. Intellectual property rights must also be respected
when member States negotiate, accede to and implement international
legal obligations in this field.
Authors of creative works must have the right to use the potential
of the Internet. Too often, the main benefit from the dissemination
of works on the Internet accrues to a few big Internet companies,
while authors, performers and other rightholders suffer dramatic
losses of income.