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Whitepaper: EU Digital Single Market Strategy

  • Text
  • Digital
  • European
  • Regulation
  • Content
  • Noerr
  • Consumers
  • Pillar
  • Directive
  • Businesses
  • Parliament
In May 2015, the European Commission released a Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy as a central priority of its agenda at the beginning of its four-year term. The strategy’s objective is to create an open, interconnected and digital single market and to maximize the positive impact of the digital transformation on European society and on business activity in the EU. To this end, the Commission proposed a wide range of measures in order to create a stable legal environment, stimulate innovation, tackle market fragmentation and allow all players to tap into the new market dynamics under fair conditions.

Pillar 1: Better access

Pillar 1: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services Modern EU copyright rules The Commission proposed a package of measures on a broad array of issues to modernize EU copyright rules. Cross-border portability The Commission’s objective is to broaden access to online content for travelers in the EU. It therefore enacted a Regulation to ensure the cross-border portability of online content services. In tandem with the new roaming rules, this enables consumers to fully use their subscriptions to online content such as films, eBooks or music streaming services when traveling in the EU. Content platforms The proposed Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market aims to guarantee fair remuneration of right holders regarding content shared on online platforms (e.g. Youtube). The proposal provides for a negotiation mechanism which relies on the assistance of a mediator or another impartial body to facilitate the licensing of rights in audio-visual works to video-sharing platforms. The Commission believes that this regulation will reinforce the position of right holders to negotiate remuneration for their creative content. Moreover, the proposal obliges platforms to implement technology to automatically detect copyrighted works. Status: Proposed in September 2016; currently being discussed by European Parliament and Council. Impact: Providers will be obliged to take measures to prevent illegally uploaded content on their platforms. The negotiation mechanism for audio-visual works will likely only affect video-on-demand platforms. Status: Regulation became applicable on 1 April 2018. Impact: Companies are required to temporarily provide access to their online content for consumers outside of their country of residence. Respective content license agreements consequently need to reflect this. Every second, a million minutes of video content will cross the global network by 2021. Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016-2021. 6

Pillar 1: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services Text and data mining In order to enable scientific research, the proposed Copyright Directive exempts text and data mining for scientific purposes from copyright rules. The Directive stipulates that contractual provisions to the contrary are not enforceable and that obligations to ensure the security and integrity of host networks and databases shall “not go beyond what is necessary to achieve that objective”. The proposal thereby aims to address current legal uncertainties regarding text and data mining techniques. Status: Proposed in September 2016; currently being discussed by European Parliament and Council. Impact: Only organizations that carry out scientific research fall within the scope of the Directive. Other companies may still need to adapt their contractual provisions and security measures in relation to content however. Related rights for press publishers The Commission recognizes the key role of press publishers regarding the quality of journalistic content and therefore intends to strengthen the bargaining position of press publishers in their contractual relations with online service providers that use and enable access to digital content. Hence, the proposed Copyright Directive provides for a new related right for press publishers. Its objective is to improve legal certainty and to allow press publishers to effectively exploit their publications in the digital environment. Status: Proposed in September 2016; currently being discussed by European Parliament and the Council. Impact: Online activities of companies, especially those in the search engine sector, may be affected, as they may need to pay for the digital use of press publications. 7

Whitepaper: EU Digital Single Market Strategy
Public M&A Report H1/2018
Legal issues of digitalisation in Europe