Insights European Commission launches consultation on extending “neighbouring” rights to publishers and on the panorama exception.

As part of the project to update EU copyright rules for the digital age, the Commission is seeking views on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain, including the possible extension to publishers of “neighbouring” rights.

Publishers do not currently benefit from neighbouring rights, which are similar to copyright, but do not reward an authors’ original creation.  They reward either the performance of a work (e.g. by a musician, a singer or an actor) or the organisation of a work, including any financial effort that has gone into it (for example by a producer), which may also include a participation in the creative process.

The consultation seeks to gather views as to the challenges (if any) faced by publishers of press and other print products in the digital environment as a result of the current copyright legal framework.  It asks what impact a change in EU law to grant publishers a new neighbouring right would have on publishers and on the whole publishing value chain.  The Commission is also seeking views on whether the need (or not) for intervention is different for the press as compared to other sectors.  The Commission will take into account the impact that introducing a new neighbouring right for publishers would have on all relevant stakeholders and ensure coherence of any intervention in this area with other EU policies.

The Commission is also consulting on the panorama exception, which concerns the use made of images depicting buildings, sculptures and monuments located permanently in public places.  This part of the consultation seeks views as to whether the current legislative framework gives rise to specific problems in the context of the Digital Single Market.

The Commission wants to hear from everyone interested in the publishing sector and the digital economy, including authors, researchers, publishers, online service providers, readers, internet users and others in the creative industries.  The Commission invites all respondents to evidence their responses, where possible, with market data and other economic evidence.  Information gathered will help the Commission assess the need for, and prepare policies, as part of its efforts to modernise EU copyright rules under the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy.  The consultation runs until 15 June 2016.  To access the consultation documentation, click here.