The European Union's digital agenda commissioner has hit out at digital entertainment, claiming that the millions of pounds spent enforcing rights issues online has only served to make people hate copyright and hasn't cut online piracy.

Speaking at the Forum d'Avignon conference, Neelie Kroes also told delegates that to stem digital piracy, the copyright system needs overhauling.

"Is the current copyright system the right and only tool to achieve our objectives? Not really, I'm afraid," she said.

"We need to keep on fighting against piracy, but legal enforceability is becoming increasingly difficult; the millions of dollars invested trying to enforce copyright have not stemmed piracy."

Sur le pont?

"Citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it. Sadly, many see the current system as a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward."

So what's the answer? Kroes posits that we need to start over, with "the artist at the centre, not only of copyright law, but of our whole policy on culture and growth."

She also emphasised the need for digital flexibility, describing the current system as "the straitjacket of a single model".

That's all very nice and seems rooted firmly in fact, but Kroes' speech highlighted lots of problems without really putting forward any new solutions, instead backing the a "one stop shop" rights database and the importance of making content available at speed.

But with music streaming services like Spotify finding that music labels are abandoning ship due to poor returns and the jury still out on movie streaming, the real question is what the digital entertainment industry should try next.

From PC Pro and Advanced Television