Press "Enter" to skip to content

SWD Impact assessment on the modernisation of EU copyright rules – impacts of baseline option for the use of protected content by online services

Impact on creative industries’ and right holders’ capacity to control better the availability of their content on user uploaded content services and thereby negotiate with the services the conditions of such use: as the implementation by the services of technologies, such as content identification technologies, will remain voluntary and based on the terms set by the services, it is likely that the baseline scenario will not lead to improvements for rightholders who are likely to continue having difficulties to enter into negotiations and/or negotiate fair terms for the use of their content.

While some of the service providers may voluntarily or under pressure from artists and from major rightholders (including risks of litigation) decide to seek agreements for the use of copyright protected content, this is unlikely to become a general trend in the short to mid-term. It can be expected that the ability to negotiate agreements will also depend on the market position of rightholders, with small rightholders likely to continue to face more difficulties than major ones.

The online services that store and give access to large amounts of user uploaded content are likely to continue to use technologies on a voluntary basis and subject to their own terms. An evolution could result from case law in some MS but it would however remain subject to national courts and may lead to diverging obligations for the services in different Member States.

Given the importance of protected content for the business models of user uploaded content services, a certain evolution can be expected in the mid to long term with regard to agreements with rightholders for content that the services would want to have on their websites. This trend is confirmed by agreements that have already been concluded (not only in the music sector but also in the AV and in the images sector where a few partnerships are being concluded).

Other content service providers will continue to face an uneven playing field. This uncertain environment and diverging legal and financial obligations will put new entrants under unfair competitive pressure from incumbent services that do not play by the same rules. This may constitute a deterrent for new services to enter the market.

The pressure to compete with user uploaded services which face lower operating costs will continue to make it more difficult for these other online content services to have or build a sustainable business model.

No impact on consumers in the short to mid-term as the user uploaded content services will in the majority of cases continue to operate in the same manner. In the long term, there could be a risk of reducing consumer choice if the current situation affects fair competition in the market and the availability of content.

There could be an indirect negative impact on cultural diversity in the long term if the revenues generated for the commercial use of copyright protected content cannot sustain the production of new (and diverse) content.

This option has no direct impact on copyright as a property right, nor on the freedom of expression and information or the freedom to conduct a business.

Comments are closed.