Proposal for regulation on the exercise of copyright and related rights for online transmissions of broadcasting in EU – rights issue

Through the principle of contractual freedom it will be possible to continue limiting the exploitation of the rights affected by the principle of country of origin laid down in this Regulation, especially as far as certain technical means of transmission or certain language versions are concerned, provided that any such limitations of the exploitation of those rights are in compliance with Union law.

Operators of retransmission services offered on satellite, digital terrestrial, closed circuit IP-based, mobile and similar networks, provide services which are equivalent to those provided by operators of cable retransmission services when they retransmit simultaneously, in an unaltered and unabridged manner, for reception by the public, an initial transmission from another Member State of television or radio programmes, where this initial transmission is by wire or over the air, including by satellite but excluding online transmissions, and intended for reception by the public.

They should therefore be within the scope of this Regulation and benefit from the mechanism introducing mandatory collective management of rights. Retransmission services which are offered on the open internet should be excluded from the scope of this Regulation as those services have different characteristics. They are not linked to any particular infrastructure and their ability to ensure a controlled environment is limited when compared for example to cable or closed circuit IP-based networks.

Any rights held by broadcasting organisations themselves in respect of their broadcasts, including rights in the content of the programmes, should be exempted from the mandatory collective management of rights applicable for retransmissions. Operators of retransmission services and broadcasting organisations generally have ongoing commercial relations and as a result the identity of broadcasting organisations is known to operators of retransmission services and hence the clearance of rights with broadcasting organisations is comparatively simple.

Thus, to obtain the necessary licences from broadcasting organisations, operators of retransmission services do not face the same burden as they face to obtain licences from holders of rights in works and other protected subject matter included in the retransmitted television and radio programmes. Therefore, there is no need for the simplification of the licensing process with regard to rights held by broadcasting organisations.

In order to prevent circumvention of the application of the country of origin principle through the extension of the duration of existing agreements concerning the exercise of copyright and related rights relevant for the provision of an ancillary online service as well as the access to or the use of an ancillary online service, it is necessary to apply the principle of country of origin also to existing agreements but with a transitional period.

In accordance with the principle of proportionality, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve its objective. As concerns the cross-border provision of ancillary online services, this Regulation establishes enabling mechanisms to facilitate the clearance of copyright and related rights.

This Regulation (official document) does not oblige broadcasting organisations to provide such services across borders. Neither does this Regulation oblige operators of retransmission services to include in their services television or radio programmes originating in other Member States. This Regulation concerns only the exercise of certain retransmission rights to the extent necessary to simplify the licensing of copyright and related rights for such services and only with regard to television and radio programmes originating in other Member States of the Union.