The appropriation is intended for the payment of the remunerations for copying and other usage under the Copyright Act, as well as for surveys and communications regarding copying, storage and usage rights. For example, the copyright remunerations for the copying of works for teaching are paid from these funds. The money is channelled to the authors and publishers of the works through the copyright organisation Kopiosto.
‘The creative industries must not be forgotten now that Finland is considering various revitalisation targets and planning urgent economic reconstruction. Creativity and the creative industry form the basis of our society in many ways, and investing in them affects people’s well-being and the development of the national economy during these difficult times,’ says Valtteri Niiranen, CEO of Kopiosto.
If funding lags behind, equality will also be at risk
Investing in the creative industries must be seen as a revitalising measure. Many European countries have successfully grown the creative industry into a significant branch of the export industry – look no further than Sweden. The creative economy also has a lot of potential for growth that will build the Finland of the future.
It would be extremely unfortunate if the approximately 3.3 million euros in the budget proposal of the Ministry of Education and Culture were now cut off. The cut does not support equal learning in municipalities, even though equality has been an essential part of the Government’s education and employment policy goals, including the extension of the age range of compulsory education, among other things. Indeed, the original proposal of the Ministry of Education and Culture would guarantee the comprehensive and centralised acquisition of licences needed by teachers and learners, as well as a fair and reasonable compensation for authors and publishers for the use of their works.
Funding has lagged behind for years
In a Nordic comparison, the amount of copying remunerations paid for the use of works in teaching in pre-school, comprehensive school and upper secondary school is the lowest in Finland. Compared to the copying remunerations paid in Denmark and Norway, in particular, Finnish authors and copyright holders are in a considerably unequal position.
The current appropriation for the acquisition of licenses and the payment of copyright remunerations has also fallen behind the actual amount of copying. This is evident from surveys commissioned jointly by Kopiosto and the Finnish National Agency for Education. The usage remunerations for 2020 are already more than 1.5 million euros behind the amount and value of copying indicated by the surveys. This situation is unsustainable for the authors and publishers of works.
It is not too late to make decisions about the role of the creative industries as part of Finland’s revitalisation. The appropriation proposed by the Ministry of Education and Culture must be included in the state budget in its entirety to ensure equal treatment of learners and to correct the distortion in the remunerations for authors and publishers that has lasted for years.
The creative industries must enjoy widespread appreciation in Finland, and decision-makers must understand their role in the reconstruction of the Finnish economy. Operators in the creative industries must not be left in dire straits.
Valtteri Niiranen, CEO of Kopiosto, valtteri.niiranen (at) kopiosto.fi, +358 (0)40 0245 008