EDRi comments on the collective rights management draft directive

By EDRi · November 21, 2012

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Deutsch: [EDRi zur geplanten Richtlinie über kollektive Rechteverwertung | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.22_EDRi_zur_geplanten_Richtlinie_ueber_kollektive_Rechteverwertung?pk_campaign=edri&pk_kwd=20121107]

On 11 July 2012, the European Commission published a proposal for a
Directive on collective management of copyright and related rights and
multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses
in the internal market. EDRi warmly welcomes the Commission’s
willingness to ensure the development of the European Single Market.

The proposal focuses on the transparency and improvement of:
i) citizens’ access to cultural content and services,
ii) access to licences for commercial users and
iii) remuneration and promotion of their works for creators.

EDRi wholeheartedly agrees with the objectives pursued by the European
Commission: better governance and greater transparency for collecting
societies adaptation of the licensing system to the digital era and
reducing barriers to the Single Market by encouraging and facilitating
multi-territorial licensing. This will benefit not only the creators but
also service providers, innovators and end users.

The proposal has two aspects. The first part of the Directive deals with
the collecting societies to ensure better governance and transparency,
and the second part is supposed to encourage and facilitate
multi-territorial licences for musical works. Although EDRi generally
agrees with the objectives of the proposal, there are still major
loopholes in the current proposal, and this is regrettable.

While the proposal aims to achieve better governance, greater
transparency and competition, it does not solve the lack of freedom of
choice for artists. More flexibility should be allowed to improve the
potential to adapt to technological and market change that would give
creators genuine freedom of choice.

EDRi believes that some terms should be clearly defined, such as
transparency, diligence and efficiency of governance, because the
alternative is legal uncertainty and a failure to achieve the goal of
the proposal. Moreover, the relationship between collecting societies
and commercial users also needs to be rebalanced. The current wording
creates an unbalanced situation that would affect the services provided
and would have a negative impact on the attractiveness and availability
of legal offers.

EDRi regrets the reference in the proposal to “a right to compensation”
that appears to be an implicit reference to private copy levies. This
mixes not only two different issues but it also creates confusion while
adding nothing.

Finally, concerning collecting societies themselves, EDRi foresees a
significant loophole concerning liability and sanctions. There is a lack
of ambition in seeking to ensure effective enforcement and good
legislation is nothing without good enforcement.

Concerning the second aspect of the proposal, EDRi welcomes the focus on
multi-territorial licences as it is an essential instrument to achieve
the European Single Market. However, EDRi deplores the lack of clarity
of music licensing for audiovisual services and the lack of transparency
regarding repertoires. EDRi would also like to see a more innovation
friendly framework in the proposal. Indeed, the proposal does not solve
the problem of the time consuming and costly negotiations, which hold
back the launch of new and innovative services. The proposal does not
offer any solution for jurisdiction problems that could arise. EDRi
believes that it is a cross-border issue that must be dealt effectively
on a European level.

All in all, EDRi welcomes the proposal as it is the right step to an
effective European Single Market, but thinks that there is significant
room for improvement to allow better harmonisation and greater enforcement.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the European Parliament.
The lead Committee is JURI and the ITRE, IMCO and CULT Committees will
also deliver opinions. EDRi hopes that the Members of the European
Parliament will improve the proposed text to ensure a successful

EDRi’s initial comments

Directive on collective management of copyright and related rights and
multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses
in the internal market (11.07.2012)

(Contribution by Marie Humeau – EDRi)