25/09/2017 : Press release - European Audiovisual Observatory publishes results of its Brussels SATCAB workshop!

Just ahead of forthcoming debates in the European Parliament a brand new report focuses on what’s at stake on copyright applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes,.

A round-table workshop was held on 21 June in Brussels in order to discuss certain aspects of the European Commission’s proposed Regulation (the so-called SatCab Regulation) which aims at laying down these rules. The workshop was organised, and the discussion facilitated by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe. A brand new publication has resulted from this workshop. You will find here the summary of the discussions held during the workshop, including links to the presentations made by the participants.

The proposal for a Regulation laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes (Regulation Proposal) was in fact tabled by the European Commission on 14 September 2016. The Commission proposes to introduce the principle of the country of origin (COO) for certain types of online transmissions of TV and radio programmes, such as simulcasting and catch-up services, with the goal of facilitating the licensing of content online by broadcasters and ultimately to increase cross-border access to broadcasters’ online services in the Digital Single Market.

The representatives of the audiovisual industry present at the workshop, with honourable exceptions, were clearly against this proposal. Most participants fear that this is a first step towards the elimination of the principle of territoriality in copyright law on which they base their business models. Accordingly, they see this proposal as an existential threat to the European audiovisual sector as well as a measure that would have a detrimental effect on diversity and creativity. They particularly fear the interplay between this Regulation and Competition Law decisions in this area, most notably the much awaited decision on the so-called pay-TV case.

The proposal for a Regulation also introduces a mandatory collective management system for the clearance of rights for retransmissions of TV and radio programmes provided by means other than cable, on equivalent closed networks, with the objective of facilitating the use of programmes by third-party platforms.

The participants of the workshop had different views concerning the proposal extending the mandatory collective management system for the clearance of rights for retransmissions of TV and radio programmes. The discussion also helped to clarify the issue of direct injection, even if the participants were divided on this issue.