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

Stakeholder dialogues between rightholders and services which store and give access to large amounts of content uploaded by their users

Due to its voluntary nature, it seems unlikely that stakeholder dialogues will result in sufficient improvements in the take up, efficiency and transparency of technologies in comparison to the possible evolution of the market.

The voluntary nature of the dialogues is likely not to change the behaviour patterns of services which have not deployed any technologies so far or for those which have been using these technologies on a voluntary basis for several years, but under their own terms. Rightholders will remain in a weak bargaining position for the use of their content by the services.

Moreover, stakeholder dialogues in a context where some of the user uploaded content services have already been imposed higher responsibilities with regard to protected content could be viewed as a step back in some MS, in comparison to existing obligations.

What concerns online services that store and give access to large amounts of user uploaded content there would be limited impact in the context of compliance costs / investments needed for putting in place appropriate measures and of negotiating with right holders the use of their content due to the voluntary nature of the stake holders dialogues and the limited likelihood of an agreement on best practices.

No direct impact on consumers. They could be impacted if online services giving access to user uploaded content agreed to take steps which led to a change in their services. This is however unlikely given that agreements, if they are reached, are likely to take into account the popularity of the current services (and the important role they play for the overall business models of certain platforms).

This option might have a slight positive impact on cultural diversity if the stakeholder dialogues were to result in a further use of technologies, thereby increasing the possibility for rightholders to decide on the use of their content.

This option is likely to have no impact or a very limited positive impact on copyright as a property right. It may have a limited negative impact on the freedom of expression and information (if, following the stakeholder dialogues, services implemented technologies limiting the upload of content for unjustified reasons, for example when an exception or a limitation to copyright applies). In such an unlikely case there would also be a limited negative impact on the freedom to conduct a business of service providers covered by this IA due to the costs they may need to incur as a result of the stakeholder dialogues.

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