Olivier Bomsel is professor of economics at the Ecole des Mines (France) and author of ‘L’économie immatérielle’ (The immaterial economy) (Gallimard).
He will be giving a presentation on June 7th, 2011, first day of the World Copyright Summit, on “Do you Speak European? Multilingualism and the Single Digital Market.” Here he outlines his views regarding the development of Europe’s digital eco-system.
Q: Why did you accept the World Copyright Summit’s invitation?
Olivier Bomsel: To heighten all the media players’ awareness of the huge economic handicap that multilingualism constitutes in Europe and the risks that competitive, globalised distribution of products imply for the European media industry.
Q: What are the main issues that you wish to address in your presentation?
Olivier Bomsel: The size of linguistic areas determines the economies of scale in creation and media distribution. These economies of scale affect not only the targetable product market (potential demand), but also the signalling investments – marketing, publishing brands – that structure the commercial distribution of cultural goods. To overcome the handicap of multilingualism, Europe needs to build protection not only of creation but above all the distribution of products.
Q: Do you think that the creative industries can develop viable ecosystems in the digital economy?
Olivier Bomsel: Overall, yes. In the United States, undoubtedly. In Europe, only if the competitive handicap of multilingualism is offset by vertical restrictions and territorial control of distribution.