The EU has a clear set of rules on copyright which enable all those who contribute to the production and distribution of media content, whether by creative input or bearing financial risk, a chance to benefit from successful projects and provide the appropriate balance between the interests of rightholders and users of content.
Some of these rules are agreed at the global level (the World Intellectual Property Organisation) before being implemented in Europe.
Crucially, the copyright framework has encouraged media business to diversify and innovate in the digital era, with hundreds of new catch-up and OTT services launched under the existing rules.
The EU is currently carrying out a review of whether any changes to copyright legislation are needed. The ACT, our member companies and other parts of the content sector have submitted extensive evidence as to the effectiveness of the current system in a year-long EC consultation “Licences for Europe”. For more information click here.
There are many different categories of copyright and for some uses, it is simpler for all parties if the payments due to a rightsholder are managed collectively. Collective management organisations have a network of reciprocal agreements so that, for example, a musician will be paid whenever their music is played anywhere in the world.
Television broadcasters are heavy users of recorded music and agree that collective management of rights will remain appropriate for many uses. The system is not perfect and we welcome a recent EU directive on collective management which should improve transparency and governance in the system.
One of the challenges of the digital age is that technology enables easier theft and illegal redistribution of audiovisual content. The threat for European content is clear – redistribution which does not remunerate the producer and other contributors will diminish the amount of resources available for future productions (up to 50% of revenues from broadcast content is reinvested in new production).
The EU has agreed helpful legislation on piracy of technology (Conditional Access) and also on the procedural requirements for civil litigation to enforce IP rights (IPRED).
The EU’s efforts to address piracy through bilateral and international trade initiatives, notably at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, are also to be supported strongly.