New European Commission consultation aims to modernise the online audiovisual environment

The European Commission has launched a consultation on the online distribution of television programmes, films and other audiovisual works in the EU.

Digital technology and the internet are rapidly changing the way in which audiovisual works are produced, marketed, and distributed. Consumers of today are expecting to be able to watch anything, anywhere, at any time and via any device, be it a television set, personal computer or a mobile device. In reaction, the European Commission has published a paper that is to serve as a basis for a debate on the changes in the audiovisual sector.

The consultation, open until November 2011 is to gather views how, in light of technological developments, European industry is to develop new business models, how creators are to find new distribution channels and how European consumers can have better access to content throughout Europe.

The paper takes a look at how best to seize the opportunities the single digital market will offer, such as new online services and better remuneration for right holders, and discusses whether additional measures should be taken at EU level to ensure the adequate remuneration of authors and performers in relation to online use of works and performances for which they hold rights. The paper also discusses rights clearance for the online distribution of audiovisual media services, examining the extent to which there are problems in this area, the precise nature of such problems and the policy options that could be considered.

Responses to the consultation will contribute to the European Commission’s forthcoming legislative proposal on collective copyright licensing, the examination of the framework set by the 2001 Information Society Directive, and a review of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive.

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