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Dekuzu Posts

EU copyright reform: Option 3

Summary of impacts of Option 3a

Territoriality and absolute territorial restrictions in licencing agreements

A legally binding instrument that prevents the use of absolute territorial restrictions in copyright licence contracts could be an important step, achievable in the medium-term, towards the completion of the Digital Single Market, in particular in sectors where territorial exclusivity agreements are common (i.e. in the audiovisual sector). While such an instrument would constitute a limitation to the freedom to conduct a business and the property rights of the licence provider, this would be justified provided the provision is carefully calibrated to ensure its adequacy and proportionality, in view of the Treaty fundamental freedom to provide and receive services across borders. This option would allow cross-border competition between distributors, who would be able to enter new markets through passive sales. Allowing for increased cross-border access could favour larger companies with a cross-border network, over national network operators. Increased competition could lead distributors to review their offer and prices and, in the long term, may have a significant impact on the structure of the market.

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A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

Preventing unjustified Geo-blocking (official)

Geo-blocking refers to practices used for commercial reasons by online service providers that result in the denial of access to websites based in other Member States or, where the consumer is able to access the website, they are still not able to purchase products or services from it. Sometimes the consumer will be re-routed to a local website with different prices or a different product or service. In other such cases, where the sale is not denied, geo-localising practices – where differing pricing structures are automatically applied based on geographic location – are often used to apply differentiated prices to consumers. Geo-blocking is one of several tools used by companies to segment markets along national borders (territorial restrictions). By limiting consumer opportunities and choice, geo-blocking constitutes a significant cause of consumer frustration and of fragmentation of the Internal Market.

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Padawan case – Legal assessment

Link between the compensation and the presumed use for private copying (de)

An exception or limitation under Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 may be regarded as a form of interference with the exclusive reproduction right of the rightholder which is permitted by Community law, although in such a case that provision of the directive mandatorily requires compensation for the author. Where a Member State transposes that provision into its national legal system, the making of a private copy by a natural person must be regarded as the specific act of interference which, subject to further criteria to be laid down by statute, triggers the rightholder’s entitlement to financial compensation. In that respect, there is certainly a linkage between the making of a private copy and the payment which is owed. That applies regardless of how the respective Member State’s system of collection for compensation for private copying is organised in detail and whether it is financed, for instance, by means of a levy. On the other hand, the requirements in relation to that link should not be raised so high that ultimately the actual use of the relevant devices for the purposes of private copying would have to be required. Rather, even potential use would have to be regarded as sufficient.

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EU copyright reform: Option 3 – Legislative intervention (Adequate remuneration of authors and performers; Libraries and archives; Private copying and reprography)

Legislative intervention

Adequate remuneration of authors and performers

This option would consist in determining and harmonising the mechanisms required to help achieve adequate remuneration of authors and performers throughout the EU. This could include, for example, harmonised rules as regards contractual clauses between authors and performers on the one hand and producers/publishers on the other (e.g. some types of clauses could be blacklisted) as well as modalities relating to the transfer of rights, possibly per sector (e.g. presumption of transfer of rights could be established).

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A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

What should DSM (official) mean for citizens and business?

Making the Single Market fit for a digital age requires rapid actions to remove the major differences between the online and offline worlds i.e. breaking down barriers to cross-border online activity. This is the first pillar of actions for the Strategy. Secondly, since all digital services, applications and content depend on the availability throughout Europe of high-speed, secure and trustworthy infrastructures, we need action to create the right regulatory conditions for investment, stimulate competition and ensure a level playing field between market players. Thirdly, breaking down barriers to the Digital Single Market is not enough if businesses in Europe are not in a position to be able to adopt digital technologies. The Strategy supports increased digitalisation of the EU economy, including investment in ICT infrastructures. The Digital Single Market Strategy will therefore be built on the three pillars:

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