Reed Smith Client Alerts

The intense lobbying and extensive press coverage concerning the Digital Single Market Copyright Directive rather overshadowed the fact that a second Directive on copyright was being adopted almost simultaneously.  This second Directive, although much reduced from its initially- proposed scope, will usefully extend the principles of the 1993 Cable and Satellite Directive to cover broadcasters' online services and to apply the mandatory collective licensing principles of that Directive to internet retransmissions.  It also resolves the vexed issue of who is to be liable when cable and other platform operators receive the signals of television and radio channels by 'direct injection' from a broadcaster for retransmission to their subscribers.

Authors: Stephen Edwards

Background

In 2010 the European Broadcasting Union, representing Europe's public service broadcasters, published a 'White Paper' setting out key changes needed to EU copyright law to enable broadcasters to participate fully in the digital platform era. The EBU's mantra was that its members should be enabled to make their broadcasting and ancillary online services available 'any time, any place, anywhere'. The new Directive does not go quite that far, having been substantially narrowed in scope during the legislative process. Nonetheless, it represents a step forward towards that goal.