Documents considered by the Committee on 2 November 2016 Contents

9Promoting a fair and efficient European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

Committee’s assessment

Legally and politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny; drawn to the attention of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Document details

Commission Communication: Promoting a fair and efficient European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market

Legal base

Department

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Document Numbers

(38075), 12253/16, COM(16) 592

9.1This Communication introduces the Commission’s latest copyright package. It sets out the immediate background, puts four legislative proposals forming part of the package into context and sets out parallel non-legislative action it will be taking.

9.2The four legislative proposals are dealt with in more detail in separate chapters of this Report. They are:

9.3The non-legislative measures are outlined in more detail in the Background section below.

9.4This Communication is important as the introduction to a major copyright package to promote and facilitate increasing demand for digital broadcasting services, including cross-border broadcasts. It gives the broader context for legislative proposals that we consider in more detail in subsequent chapters in this Report.

9.5The Government raise no firm objection to the non-legislative measures the Commission signal that they will be taking. We are therefore content to clear this document from scrutiny but draw it to the attention of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Culture, Media and Sport Committee as part of the broader copyright package.

Full details of the documents

Commission Communication: Promoting a fair and efficient European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market: (38075), 12253/16, COM(16) 592.

Background

9.6The Commission introduces its Communication by referring to its Digital Single Market Strategy adopted in May 2015,48 its Communication: Towards a modern, more European Copyright framework,49 and its Creative Europe programme which includes a sub-programme for MEDIA and has a budget of €1.46 billion (£1.25706 billion) for the period 2014–20.

9.7It outlines the legislative and non-legislative proposals under four themes. The non-legislative proposals are as follows:

Measures to ensure wider access to content across the EU

Adapting copyright exceptions to digital and cross-border environments

Achieving a well-functioning marketplace for copyright

This theme contains only legislative proposals.

Provision of an effective and balanced enforcement system

The Government View

9.8The Minister of State for Intellectual Property (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) sets out the Government view on the non-legislative proposals as follows:

“Regarding the non-legislative measures to ensure wider access to content across the EU, the Government supports targeted and evidence-based reforms and believes a well-functioning Digital Single Market should support consumer choice, business growth, and ensure creators and rightholders are paid for use of their works.

Licensing Hubs: The Government has yet to see concrete evidence from the Commission on whether licensing hubs are an effective way of achieving greater access to content or but looks forward to further details on the Commission’s plans in this area.

“Standard Identifiers: The Government shares the Commission’s goals on the increased interoperability of standard identifiers. Progress in this area can help to better track the value of consumer spend and film deals, which aids stakeholders throughout the film value chain. The British Film Institute (BFI) has already adopted the use of EIDR (Entertainment Identifier Registry) as the standard unique identifier for films in the UK filmography, registering all of the UK filmography of theatrically released British feature film (9,500 works).

“Leveraging the Creative Europe MEDIA programme: The Government would like to see rightholders incentivised to exploit their works in territories not covered by distribution deals supported by MEDIA and supports experimentation with distribution models. Work in this area should continue to ensure fair remuneration to creators even in the absence of a distributor in a given territory. The BFI notes that the Creative Europe MEDIA has a history of supporting innovation in the audio-visual sector. The UK’s digital distributors have benefited from this support by leading or taking part in international projects such as EDAD, Tide Experiment and Scope 50. While the impacts of these projects on non-national circulation of works remain limited, they improve with time as lessons from each distribution campaign are learnt.

“Discoverability: The Government is supportive of the Commission’s objectives on discoverability both to increase access to European film and in helping to combat piracy. The BFI has been engaging with both EFADS and the MEDIA unit to identify initiatives that will support the discoverability of European film. The Government notes the importance of dialogue and partnership in working with industry on such measures—for example, the UK industry has supported initiatives on the discoverability of film such as Findanyfilm.com and the ContentMap, which provide UK consumers with options for legal access to film and music content.

“Alternative funding for Animation: Animation is an important sector to the UK creative economy and the Government successfully introduced a tax relief specifically to support production of animation in the UK. We support the Commission’s broad ambitions in this area and look forward to more substantive proposals.”

Previous Committee Reports

None.


45 Under Directive 93/83 this principle applies to satellite broadcasts.

46 Under Directive 93/83 collective management applies to simultaneous cable transmissions.

47 See Thirty-seventh Report HC 219-xxxvi (2014–15), chapter 7 (18 March 2015) for the most recent Committee consideration of the proposal enabling the EU to conclude the Marrakesh Treaty.

48 See Tenth Report HC 342-x (2015–16), chapter 7 (25 November 2015) for the final consideration by the Committee of this Communication.

49 See Twenty-fifth Report HC 342-xxiv (2015–16), chapter 13 (9 March 2016) for the final consideration by the Committee of this Communication.

50 Standard identifiers provide each work with a unique number, as the ISDN system does for books.




4 November 2016