Insights European Commission publishes report on responses to its consultation on the review of the Satellite and Cable Directive (93/83/EEC).

The consultation took place between 24 August 2015 and 16 November 2015 and is part of the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy, which has as one of its objectives to enhance cross-border access to TV and radio programmes in the EU.

The consultation received a total of 257 responses: 56 from individuals and 201 from organisations, companies or institutions:

The country of origin principle: respondents were asked about the functioning of the current rules applicable to clearance of copyright and related rights for satellite broadcasting.  They were also asked for their views on the impact of a possible extension of the application of the principle to different online services.  Overall, about half of respondents considered that the existing provisions facilitated the clearance of rights, at least to some extent. Views were split, however, as to whether the application of the country of origin principle had increased consumer access to satellite broadcasting services across borders. Views were also divided on whether the principle should be extended to online transmissions: consumers called for a broad extension of the principle to cover all online services, whilst rights holders were, in general, against the idea.

The management of retransmission rights: respondents were asked about the existing rules applicable to clearance of copyright and related rights for simultaneous cable retransmission.  They were also asked about the impact of a possible extension of the mandatory collective management regime to different forms of simultaneous retransmissions online.  The majority considered that the Directive had facilitated the clearance of rights for simultaneous retransmission by cable of programmes broadcast from other Member States and had helped consumers to have more access to broadcasting services across borders. Views were divided, however, on the question of extending the mandatory collective management regime.

The mediation system and obligation to negotiate: respondents were asked if they had used the existing negotiation and mediation mechanisms established under the Directive.  They were invited to describe their experience.  Respondents were also asked to give their views on a possible extension of the rules to facilitate the cross-border availability of online services and to suggest any other measure that could facilitate contractual solutions and negotiations in good faith.  Overall, responses indicated that the mediation mechanism had had very limited practical relevance and the majority did not support extending its application.

The Commission says that it will now take account of the results of the consultation in its ongoing work to facilitate cross-border access to content in the EU.  For a link to the full report, click here.