Enhancing cross-border portability of content throughout Europe will be included in a ¨Communication on the modernisation of the EU copyright rules¨ as part of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy to be unveiled on December 9.


According to a so-called ‘roadmap’, the EC is planning a two-step approach which will, initially, involve  a set of legislative measures ¨in December/early 2016¨ proposing a Regulation on cross-border portability and an instrument on the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty for the benefit of print-disabled persons.

A second set of measures in spring 2016 may then address such issues as:

  • Aspects of cross-border access to copyright protected services including those which may follow from the review of the Cable and Satellite Directive;

  • Further harmonisation of exceptions to copyright which are key for the functioning of the digital single market;

  • Clarification on the role of internet intermediaries when they distribute copyright protected content;

  • The enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The Commission document explained that the Communication intends ¨to promote clear and balanced copyright rules that take into account new technologies, new uses and new market conditions, facilitate access to content for users across the EU, enhance the competitiveness of the EU creative industries by opening new market opportunities and reward the creativity and work of authors and other right holders.¨

Described as a soft law instrument, the Communication  ¨ is only intended to provide a cross-cutting analysis of existing challenges and to suggest way forwards for modernising the current copyright legal framework, as well as other supporting actions to improve its functioning,¨ the ‘roadmap’ document added.

Oettinger speaks to European Parliament

Digital economy priorities for 2016 were the focus of an exchange of views between the EC Commissioner Günther Oettinger and the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy at a meeting in Brussels last night (Monday, 9 November).

Speaking about the issue of portability, Oettinger stressed that ¨if you have a contract for video on demand and want to a download a film, you should be able to do that whether you are in Brussels, Rouen, Rome, or Karlsruhe¨ and described the principle of territoriality as a ¨counterweight¨ to portability, particularly in the areas of film, sports and broadcasting in Europe.

Germans give “clear signal” to Brussels on media directive

Germany’s stance on a review of the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) ¨ is now more clear than ever in Brussels¨ after a position paper was hammered out by a committee of German national and federal state politicians, which was appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime-ministers of the Länder..

Speaking at the beginning of this week’s Film- und Kinokongress NRW conference in Cologne, Dr. Marc Jan Eumann, NRW State Secretary for Federal Affairs, Europa and the Media, said that the paper’s demands had definitely been registered by the European Commission.

The paper includes proposals for all of the areas covered by the AVMSD, including extending regulation on the protection of minors, consumer protection and the prohibition of hate speech to all audiovisual offers.

Germany is also wanting confirmation that the Directive will not hinder the financing of national film funding systems. This is prompted by the intention of the German Federal Film Board (FFA) to impose levies on VoD operators based outside of Grmany who are increasingly dominating the German market and should join the exhibitors, home entertainment companies and broadcasters in making financial contributions to the FFA.

¨We want to preserve media diversity and create fair competitive chances for all media providers, and do regardless of the form of distribution,¨ Germany’s State Minister for Culture Monika Grütters declared.

According to the Germany’s film industry ¨umbrella¨ organisation SPIO, there is an ¨urgent need¨ for a review of the Directive, which must ¨react to the digitisation of our media world and the advancing convergence of media.¨

Ïn a statement, SPIO president Holighaus argued that the AVSMD’s scope of application should be extended from the current system of covering TV broadcasters and on-demand services like Netflix to include ¨those media services which select and sort their content via algorithms and arrange their offers in this way.¨

As part of a so-called REFIT ‘regulatory fitness’ test for the AVMS Directive, the Commission had launched a public consultation this summer to gather views from all interested parties on how to make the European audiovisual landscape fit for purpose in the digital age.

Commissioner Oettinger has indicated in the past that revisions to the Directive could then be presented later in 2016.

‘Stop TTIP’ tops 3 million

The Europe-wide ¨Stop TTIP¨ campaign has attracted more than 3 million signatures for its petition against the free-trade agreements being negotiated with the USA and Canada, TTIP and CETA.

The organisers of the European Citizen Initiative handed over a list with 3.28 million names to the European Parliament President Martin Schulz at a meeting in Berlin on Monday and called on him to organise a hearing on the matter.