Commercial Broadcasters welcome European Commission pledge to tackle illegal content online

Download the document

BRUSSELS, 28 SEPTEMBER.  The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) welcomed the publication today of the European Commission’s Communication Tackling Illegal Content Online: Towards an enhanced responsibility of online platforms.  The Communication’s self-regulatory approach involves online platforms taking greater responsibility for removing illegal content uploaded by users.

The Communication is clear that violations of intellectual property – primarily copyright – are one of the illegal practices which must be tackled.  As part of the ongoing reform of the Copyright Directive, the Commission has also proposed that some online platforms should be responsible for either seeking copyright licences or removing unlicensed works.

These reforms are necessary and entirely consistent with existing case law and legislation.  ACT has consistently supported action to address the harm caused by unlawful online hosting of TV programmes and films.

Agnieszka Horak, ACT’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, said:

“Illegal online versions destroy the financial value of TV and film productions and ultimately lead to less content for audiences to enjoy.  The Commission’s ambitions for the Digital Single Market will only be met if it tackles this destruction of value in the audio-visual sector.

“Respect for intellectual property rights is one of the standard rules of business.  Until now, modest attempts to ease online platforms into taking greater responsibility for the content they host have been unfairly criticised.

“Commercial broadcasters are encouraged that intellectual property violations are now among the issues the Commission says online platforms must address.  Today’s Communication complements the legislative proposals already under negotiation to clarify the responsibility of online platforms as part of reforms to the Copyright Directive.  Both initiatives need to be pursued in parallel.

“The EU is taking increasingly confident steps to get online platforms playing by the same rules as everyone else.  The Commission has set out today an initial list of practical measures that responsible platforms must now take.  Clear requirements for platform responsibility will benefit all Europeans.”

— ENDS —