EU set to enhance cross-border access to online content
The EU is taking steps to increase the number of TV and radio programmes available online for European consumers. The Council yesterday adopted a directive which will facilitate the licensing of copyright-protected material contained in such programmes so that they can be made available throughout the EU.
Valer Daniel Breaz, Romanian Minister for Culture and National Identity yesterday said:
These new rules will provide wider access to online content for the European citizens and will enhance European cultural diversity, as rightholders will be adequately rewarded for their works. This is another great benefit of the EU's Digital Single Market.
Facilitating clearance of rights for online services ancillary to broadcasts
Users increasingly expect to have access to television and radio programmes at a time and place of their choice. Broadcasting organisations are therefore increasingly offering, in addition to their traditional broadcasts of television and radio programmes, online services ancillary to their broadcast. Such services consist of parallel transmissions over the Internet (simulcasting) and the possibility to view or listen to a programme later than at the time of the original broadcast (catch-up services).
In order to make these services available across borders, broadcasting organisations need to clear the rights to works and other protected subject matter contained in their broadcasts for all relevant territories. The directive will facilitate this rights clearance by allowing broadcasting organisations to clear all relevant rights in the member state of their principal establishment.
The directive covers all radio programmes, TV news and current affairs programmes as well as TV programmes which are fully financed own productions of the broadcasting organisations. Existing contracts will remain unaffected for a period of four years from the entry into force of the directive. The Commission will assess the need for extending this coverage to additional types of TV programmes six years after the entry into force of the directive.
Clearance of cross-border retransmission rights
In addition, the directive facilitates the clearance of rights where a radio or TV programme broadcast in one member state is retransmitted simultaneously, unaltered and unabridged in another member state.
It covers retransmissions carried out via cable, satellite, digital terrestrial, closed circuit IP-based or mobile networks. It also covers retransmissions carried through the open internet provided that they take place in a managed environment, i.e. they are subject to some kind of digital identification.
For the types of retransmissions covered by the directive, the rights to works and other subject matter contained in the broadcast shall have to be cleared through a collective management society. The collective management society in question shall also be entitled to clear rights belonging to rightholders who have not transferred their rights to it.
The directive clarifies the legal status of the so-called "direct injection" technique, i.e. when a broadcaster transmits its programme-carrying signals to signal distributors in such a way that these signals are not accessible to the public during that transmission. In such a case, only a single act of communication to the public is deemed to occur. This means that both the broadcaster and the signal distributor will have to clear the underlying rights.
Following the signature and publication of the directive in the Official Journal of the EU, member states will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national law.
+32 2 281 85 46
+32 476 53 11 80
Latest News from
International trends in central bank independence: the ECB’s perspective12/11/2019 15:10:00
Remarks by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the ECB, Roundtable Discussion on Central Bank Independence.
A tale of two money markets: fragmentation or concentration12/11/2019 14:10:00
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the ECB workshop on money markets, monetary policy implementation and central bank balance sheets.
Turkey's illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean12/11/2019 12:05:00
The Council has adopted a framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey's unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. The framework will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Vaccine against Ebola: EC grants first-ever market authorisation12/11/2019 11:20:00
The EC has adopted the decision granting marketing authorisation to the company Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. for a vaccine against Ebola. This vaccine, called Ervebo, had been in development since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. It is already used, as part of a specific protocol, to protect people at risk of infection, such as healthcare workers or people who have been exposed to infected persons.
E-commerce: Council reaches provisional agreement on new rules for exchange of VAT payment data11/11/2019 16:10:00
The Council has reached a general approach on a set of rules to facilitate detection of tax fraud in cross-border e-commerce transactions.
Excise duty: Council agrees on a modernised framework for excise goods11/11/2019 15:20:00
The EU is modernising its rules on taxation of the sale or use of products such as tobacco, energy or alcohol.
VAT: Council reaches provisional agreement on simplified rules for small businesses11/11/2019 14:10:00
The purpose of the new rules is to reduce administrative burden and compliance costs for small enterprises and to help create a fiscal environment which will help small enterprises grow and trade cross-border more efficiently.
Safer cars in the EU11/11/2019 13:25:00
As of mid-2022, all new cars put on the EU market will have to be equipped with advanced safety systems.
Climate finance: EU and member states' contributions up to €21.7bn in 201811/11/2019 13:02:00
Contributions from the EU and its member states to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the impacts of climate change have more than doubled since 2013.