HomeInsightsNeed to Know – 2012.09.17

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General

Draft orphan works directive approved by European Parliament.

European Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, calls for urgent reform to copyright legislation to support the creative sector.

Technology

Government announces the UK’s first Academic Research Institute to improve understanding of the science behind Cyber Security threats.

Government moves to fast track the implementation of superfast broadband.

Broadcasting

Ofcom awards first licences to run local TV services in two areas of the UK.

Ofcom rejects complaints by Julian Assange of unjust treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in broadcast of Wikileaks documentary.

Ofcom upholds complaint of unwarranted infringement of privacy after regional news programme broadcasts Facebook posts relating to breast implants without prior permission.

Ofcom finds that the cumulative effect of documentary’s positive focus on BMW amounted to promotion of the brand.

Litigation

Court of Appeal holds that delivering a document by personal service means delivering it to the recipient personally, not delivering by process server.

Publishing

Director of Public Prosecutions publishes final Guidelines on the approach prosecutors should take when assessing public interest in cases affecting the media.

Press Complaints Commission considers issues raised by the publication of photographs of Prince Harry in Las Vegas.

High Court declines to grant Steve McClaren an interim non-disclosure order to prevent publication of a story relating to an extra-marital affair.

Film & TV

The European Parliament adopts report on how Europe’s cinema could reach a wider public by more efficient distribution of films and other audiovisual materials online.

 

General

Draft orphan works directive approved by European Parliament.

In June 2012, the EU Parliament and Council representatives agreed on a piece of draft legislation on orphan works aimed at making it easier for public institutions such as libraries, museums and public broadcasters to search for and use works for which no author can be identified or located. 

The main objective of the proposed directive is to create a legal framework to ensure lawful, crossborder online access to orphan works contained in online digital libraries or archives operated by a variety of institutions when such orphan works are used in the pursuance of the public interest mission of such institutions and for non-profit purposes.

This objective is to be achieved through a system of mutual recognition of the orphan status of a work. In order to establish this, public institutions and public service broadcasting organisations would be required to carry out a prior due diligence search in the Member State where the work was first published. Once the search established the orphan status of a work, the work in question would be deemed an orphan work throughout the EU, thus obviating the need for multiple searches. On this basis, it would be possible to make orphan works available online for cultural and educational purposes without prior authorisation, unless (or until) the owner of the work put an end to such status.

The proposed directive was approved by the EU Parliament on 13 September 2012, subject to certain amendments which can be found here.

This development was welcomed by Polish Social-Democrat Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, whose report on the draft proposal was adopted by the legal affairs committee in March 2012. Ms Geringer de Oedenberg stressed the proposal’s potential benefits: “This is clear legislation which gives public institutions legal certainty so they are not afraid of using orphan works. Public institutions are keeping all these works hidden as they are afraid that making them available without the consent of the rights holder could leave them facing trial and potentially millions of euros to pay so it is too risky. Those works sometimes make up to 70% of an institution’s whole collection and they are at risk of being simply forgotten about.”

To read the Parliament’s press release in full, click here.

European Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, calls for urgent reform to copyright legislation to support the creative sector.

Speaking at the 2012 Intellectual Property and Innovation Summit at the Lisbon Council, Ms Kroes said that, in today’s fast changing world, action is urgently needed to update the copyright framework in order to properly support the creative sector.

Ms Kroes reminded the Summit that the last major EU copyright instrument, the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC), was adopted in 2001, and the Commission proposals on which it was based date back to 1998.  Since then, the world has changed dramatically.

In Ms Kroes’ view: “We should help artists live from their art.  Stimulate creativity and innovation.  Improve consumer choice.  Promote our cultural heritage.  And help the sector drive economic growth”.  The current copyright framework does not achieve these objectives, she said.  For example, “online licensing restrictions make it impossible to buy music legally”.

The Commission has already published proposals on orphan works and on collective rights management to make multi-territorial licensing easier.  However, Ms Kroes said, “this tackles only one aspect of the problem” and “we need to focus also on substantive copyright reform”.

Further, Ms Kroes said, “How can we expect pan-European companies to succeed, if in practice they have to deal with 27 different sets of rules, even if based on a supposedly common European framework?  How can we expect them to compete against American platforms that can easily market to hundreds of millions?

Unless Europe responds soon, Ms Kroes warned, the creative sector will continue to miss out.  She noted that changes to copyright legislation are in progress: WIPO is looking into a range of new copyright exceptions and limitations and, nationally, an increasing number of Member States are recognising the need for reforms.  However, she said, “we need a common European solution, to avoid fragmentation and to seize benefits for a European Digital Single Market”. 

Accordingly, the Commission is looking into how the Copyright Directive should be adapted in order to stimulate innovation and growth in the creative sector.  Ms Kroes said that, as part of this process, she was “open to ideas from all stakeholders: artists, consumers, businesses, researchers.  Only together we can adapt ourselves to the future, and stimulate innovation and growth”.  To read the speech in full, click here

Technology

Government announces the UK’s first Academic Research Institute to improve understanding of the science behind Cyber Security threats.

The Institute has been established by GCHQ, in partnership with the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

The Institute is part of a cross-Government commitment towards increasing the nation’s academic capability in all fields of cyber security, and forms part of the National Cyber Security programme coordinated by the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance.  Its research will ultimately make it easier for businesses, individuals and Government to take informed decisions about how to implement better cyber protection measures.

The Institute is a virtual organisation involving seven universities.  The Government says that it will allow leading academics in the field of cyber security including social scientists, mathematicians and computer scientists from across the UK to work together.  It will also connect them to the collective expertise of industry security experts and international researchers in the field to tackle some of the UK’s toughest challenges in cyber security, in both the public and private sectors.  To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.

Government moves to fast track the implementation of superfast broadband.

The Government has said that a “swathe of red tape holding up the delivery of broadband infrastructure is to be swept away, clearing the way for the UK to have the fastest broadband of any major European country”.

Under the new plans:

  • broadband street cabinets and other infrastructure can be installed without the need for prior approval from the local council (except in Sites of Special Scientific Interest);
  • broadband companies will face less cost and bureaucracy in laying cables in streets; and
  • broadband cables and cabinets can be installed on or under private land without the bureaucratic burden of long-running negotiations.

The Government is investing £680 million to “ensure that the UK has the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015” and will also work with mobile operators, local government and other interested parties to consider ways that the planning process might be streamlined to speed up the deployment of mobile infrastructure.  To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.

Broadcasting

Ofcom awards first licences to run local TV services in two areas of the UK.

Following new legislation enabling Ofcom to issue local TV licences, two new licences have been awarded for digital terrestrial TV channels in Brighton (Latest TV Ltd) and Grimsby (Channel 7 Television Community Interest Company). The channels will broadcast on a distinct amount of spectrum reserved for local TV broadcasting on digital terrestrial TV channels.

In May 2012, Ofcom invited applications to run local TV services in 21 local areas.  In total, 57 applications were received.  As well as broadcasting on digital terrestrial TV, it is anticipated that local TV channels might also wish to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.

Licences are awarded for a period of up to 12 years, and some channels may be on air before the end of 2013.

Ofcom says that it will grant further licences in the coming months.  To read Ofcom’s press release in full, click here.

Ofcom rejects complaints by Julian Assange of unjust treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in broadcast of Wikileaks documentary.

True Stories: WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies, broadcast on More 4, charted the history of WikiLeaks and featured contributions from Mr Assange and a number of employees from The Guardian and other newspapers.  Other contributors, such as a former employee of WikiLeaks and others who came into contact with Mr Assange or who were affected by the impact of the material that was published by WikiLeaks, also featured and gave their opinions on WikiLeaks, Mr Assange and related matters.

Mr Assange complained to Ofcom that he was treated unjustly or unfairly in the programme as broadcast and that his privacy was unwarrantably infringed in the programme.

Ofcom found that Mr Assange’s knowledge of the content of the programme and the list of the key contributors provided to him prior to consenting to appear in the programme meant that Mr Assange did provide his informed consent to appear in the programme. 

On the complaint of unfair presentation and omission of certain facts or points, Ofcom found that the allegations of rape did not reveal anything that was not already in the public domain before the programme was broadcast.  Therefore, it was likely that many viewers would have been familiar with the allegations and Mr Assange’s unequivocal denial of them.  Ofcom also observed that Mr Assange’s stance (i.e. that he denied the allegations and that the allegations were a result of a political campaign against him) was reflected in the programme through the archive news footage. 

An example of the complaint of unfairness by virtue of the omission of certain points included the failure to mention that two individuals had no recollection of Mr Assange supposedly making the statement: “they’re American informants, they deserve to die”, during a heated discussion.  Here, Ofcom said that in the context of a programme that was focussed on chronicling the WikiLeaks story and included often-conflicting accounts from those involved at the time, it would have been apparent to viewers that there were disagreements between parties.  Nonetheless, Ofcom considered that the effect of including Mr Assange’s remark (“there was no row… not even only hints of a discussion”) served as an effective denial by Mr Assange and therefore did not lead to unfairness to Mr Assange in the programme as broadcast.

Ofcom found that, contrary to Mr Assange’s complaint, he had been given the opportunity to provide, and was capable of providing, robust responses to his critics, and these were fairly represented in the programme. 

Finally, Ofcom considered a complaint that the footage of Mr Assange dancing in a nightclub was an unwarranted intrusion into his privacy and found that because the filming was not surreptitious, since it occurred in a public place and the material was not sensitive in nature, there was no legitimate expectation of privacy and no therefore no breach of Broadcasting Code rules.  To read Ofcom’s adjudication on a Complaint by Mr Julian Assange (True Stories: WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies) published in Issue 213 of the Broadcast Bulletin (10 September 2012), click here.

Ofcom upholds complaint of unwarranted infringement of privacy after regional news programme broadcasts Facebook posts relating to breast implants without prior permission.

On 12 February 2012, Central News broadcast an item concerning the medical consequences for women who had had Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP) breast implants.  A contributor to the programme, Miss Brown, spoke about her Facebook support group.  Miss Brown was filmed while viewing a Facebook page, which briefly showed posts made by Miss F.

Following the broadcast of the programme, Miss F complained to Ofcom that her privacy was unwarrantably infringed in the broadcast of the programme.

ITV said that the material placed on the page in question by Miss F confirming that she had PIP implants was in the public domain and therefore she did not have an expectation of privacy.  It also said that the Facebook posts were incidental and fleeting and could only be discerned if a viewer paused the programme to view the relevant frame.

Ofcom took into account that the support group was “closed”, which means that only members of a particular group are able to view posts and material that appear on the page in question.  It therefore considered that Miss F would not have expected people outside that group to be able to view her posts, by their broadcast to a wider audience, without her consent.  Ofcom also noted that although Miss F had placed material confirming that she had PIP implants on other forums, these posts were not readily available on the internet without entering particular search terms and conducting further research.  Accordingly, Ofcom took the view that Miss F would not have expected information pertaining to medical surgery she had had to be disclosed to a group outside of this community and then broadcast to a wider audience.

Ofcom considered that the infringement of Miss F’s privacy was limited to some extent because she was not the subject of the report and because the footage of her posts was incidental and would not have been legible to the normal viewer.  However, despite the public interest in the subject matter, Ofcom did not consider, on balance, that there was any public interest that warranted infringing Miss F’s privacy by disclosing without her consent that she had undergone a breast implant procedure.

Because the inclusion of footage of a computer screen revealed medical information relating to Miss F without her consent, Ofcom found the programme in breach of rules 8.1 (unwarranted infringement of privacy) and 8.6 (consent).  To read Complaint by Miss F (Central News, ITV1) published in Issue 213 of Ofcom’s Broadcast Bulletin (10 September 2012), click here.

Ofcom finds that the cumulative effect of documentary’s positive focus on BMW amounted to promotion of the brand.

BMW: A Driving Obsession, a documentary about the car manufacturer BMW, was produced by CNBC’s sister company in the United States and was broadcast on the business news channel CNBC in the UK.  Examples of references to BMW products included:

  • For twenty to thirty years they’ve largely delivered on the ultimate driving machine as a brand statement.” (Former editor of Car and Driver magazine);
  • I think this is something that sets BMW still apart. Never disappoint.” (Director of Brand Management); and
  • Some critics have dismissed BMWs as over-engineered, over-hyped and over-priced”. (Narrator).

A viewer was concerned that the trailer for the programme presented the BMW brand in a way that endorsed the brand and was akin to advertising.  Ofcom therefore viewed both the trailer and the programme.

Business News, the channel licensee, provided evidence to demonstrate that CNBC had maintained independent editorial control and confirmed that the references had not been subject to any product placement arrangement.

Ofcom was satisfied that there was no evidence to suggest that BMW had influenced the content of the programme in such a way as to impair CNBC’s responsibility and editorial independence and therefore did not find a breach of rule 9.1 of the Broadcasting Code.

In relation to rule 9.4, “Products, services and trade marks must not be promoted in programming”, Ofcom accepted that a programme exploring the inner workings of BMW would justify a greater latitude for information about the product in accordance with guidance to the rule which states that “there may be circumstances that justify a greater degree of information about products or services within programmes”.  However, Ofcom found that the approximately 42 minute programme (excluding advertising breaks) contained almost entirely positive comments by almost all of the contributors and the presenter/narrator.   It said that with the exception a small number of criticisms of BMW, the vast majority of negative comments were framed within or followed by positive rebuttals.  Accordingly, Ofcom found the programme in breach of rule 9.4.

Ofcom also said that programmes of this type and in this business context, although allowing a greater degree of information, do not give broadcasters freedom to include unlimited references that amount to the promotion of products or services.  To read BMW: A Driving Obsession CNBC, 26 November 2011 published in Issue 213 of the Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin (10 September 2012), click here.

Litigation

Court of Appeal holds that delivering a document by personal service means delivering it to the recipient personally, not delivering by process server.

ENER-G Holdings appealed against an order made by Mr Justice Burton that ENER-G was precluded from pursuing a claim for nearly £2 million based on alleged breaches of warranties given by the respondent, Mr Hormell, in an agreement dated 2 April 2008, because ENER-G had failed to serve the claim form on Mr Hormell within the period specified within the agreement.

Under the agreement, ENER-G had to give written notice of any breach of warranty to Mr Hormell by the “second anniversary of completion”, which was 2 April 2010.  Where notice had been given, the agreement stated that such claim would be deemed to have been irrevocably withdrawn unless proceedings were issued and served on Mr Hormell no later than 12 months after the date of the notice.

The agreement also provided for service of documents.  It stated that notice “may be served by delivering it personally or by sending it by pre-paid recorded delivery post” to the address referred to in the agreement.  Under the agreement, notice delivered personally was deemed to have been received when delivered and notice sent by pre-paid recorded delivery was deemed to have been received two business days after posting.

ENER-G arranged for notice of its claims to be served on Mr Hormell in two different ways.  First, a process server was instructed to deliver the notice to Mr Hormell at his home address, which was the address referred to in the agreement, on 30 March 2010.  When the process server attended the address, nobody was there.  Accordingly, he left the envelope in the front porch on a table.  That same day, i.e. before 5.00 pm, Mr Hormell found the envelope, opened it and read the notice.  Secondly, ENER-G sent an identical copy of the notice by recorded delivery to Mr Hormell’s home address.  This notice was therefore deemed served on 1 April 2010, i.e. two business days after posting.

One year later, on 29 March 2011, ENER-G instructed a process server to serve a claim form on Mr Hormell by taking it to his home address.  Again, nobody was at home, so the process server placed the claim form in the letterbox at 4.20 pm.  Under CPR 6.14, service was deemed to have been effected on 31 March 2011.

The court considered service of the notice and the meaning of “delivering it personally”.  It found that the concept of “personal service” was “well understood to mean service on the recipient personally, not service by the server (or anyone else) personally” (Allison Ltd v Limehouse & Co [1992] AC 105).   Further, both the law and common sense supported the notion that if “personal” service or delivery of a document was required, it should be handed to the intended recipient personally. 

The court also found that the different means of service expressed in the agreement were permissive, not exclusive.  For a start, the clause in question stated that service of the notice “may” be effected by delivering it personally or by pre-paid recorded delivery.  It did not say “shall” be so effected.  In addition, the fact was that Mr Hormell had indeed received and read the notice, and clear words would be required before it could be said that the parties had intended that a recipient who had actually received a notice in time should nonetheless be treated as not having received it (due to some technical irregularity), and thus the notice as not being validly served.

The court therefore found that the first notice, although not “delivered personally”, was nonetheless validly served on the date it was left at Mr Hormell’s address, which was the date he actually saw it, as the clause setting out the methods of service was not exclusive and permitted other methods of service.  The second notice, sent by pre-paid recorded delivery, did not cause the first notice not to have been validly served.

Therefore, the date of service was 30 March 2010.  As the claim form was not served until 31 March 2011, it had been served out of time, i.e. more than 12 months after service of the notice.  ENER-G was therefore not permitted to pursue its breach of warranty claims and its appeal was dismissed.  (ENER-G Holdings Plc v Philip Hormell [2012] EWCA Civ 1059 (31 July 2012) – to read the judgment in full, click here).

Publishing

Director of Public Prosecutions publishes final Guidelines on the approach prosecutors should take when assessing public interest in cases affecting the media.

The Guidelines are relevant to prosecutors when considering whether to charge journalists, or those who interact with journalists, with criminal offences that may have been committed in the course of their work as journalists.  Publication of the Guidelines follows a public consultation.

The Guidelines ask prosecutors to consider what information was available to the journalist at the start of his/her investigation.  They include more detail about what might be considered as an “important matter of public debate” with examples of “serious impropriety”, significant unethical conduct” and “significant incompetence”.  They also provide more detail in relation to privacy.

As in all cases, prosecutors must consider whether or not there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and if so, whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.  This will require prosecutors to consider any defences that may be advanced.

If there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, prosecutors are asked to consider the critical question of whether the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the overall criminality.  If the answer is yes, it is less likely that a prosecution will be required.

In assessing the public interest, prosecutors are asked to consider certain factors, including conduct that is: a) capable of disclosing that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed, or is likely to be committed; b) disclosing that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur; c) raising or contributing to an important matter of public debate; and d) disclosing that anything falling within any one of the above is being, or is likely to be concealed.

When assessing the overall criminality, non-exhaustive factors likely to be relevant include: a) the impact on the victim(s) of the conduct in question, including the consequences for the victim(s); b) whether the victim was under 18 or in a vulnerable position; c) the overall loss and damage caused by the conduct in question; d) whether the conduct was part of a repeated or routine pattern of behaviour or likely to continue; e) whether there was any element of corruption in the conduct in question; f) whether the conduct in question included the use of threats, harassment or intimidation; g) the impact on any course of justice, for example whether a criminal investigation or proceedings may have been put in jeopardy; h) the motivation of the suspect insofar as it can be ascertained; and i) whether the public interest in question could equally well have been served by some lawful means having regard to all the circumstances in the particular case.

Weighing the public interest served by the conduct against the overall criminality is not an arithmetical exercise of adding up factors on each side, the Guidelines state, but rather prosecutors are asked to consider each case on its own facts.  To read the DPP’s press release in full and for a link to the Guidelines, click here.

Press Complaints Commission considers issues raised by the publication of photographs of Prince Harry in Las Vegas.

The PCC received around 3,800 complaints that the publication by The Sun newspaper of the photographs raised a breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.  The PCC says that is in continuing dialogue with Prince Harry’s representatives but as yet has not received a formal complaint.

Despite members of the public contacting the PCC to express concern at The Sun’s coverage, the PCC has concluded that it would be “inappropriate for it to open an investigation at this time”, given that Prince Harry’s representatives are not formally involved.

On 22 August the PCC issued an advisory notice drawing to editors’ attention the concerns of Prince Harry’s representatives, on privacy grounds, about the potential publication of the photographs in the UK press. 

In addition, as the story was unfolding the PCC says that it provided advice, on request, to editors about the relevant issues under the Code.  This noted the terms of Clause 3 of the Code and, in particular, Clause 3 (iii), which states that it is: “unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent” and which defines private places as “public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy”.  The PCC says that it recognises exceptions to the terms of Clause 3 where publication can be shown to be in the public interest.  The Code also requires that the PCC “consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so”. Publications were reminded that they would be required to justify any decision to publish should the PCC later undertake a formal investigation.

The PCC says that it would be wrong to pre-empt the conclusions that it might reach were a complaint to be pursued.  Nonetheless, it notes that the question of how to apply the terms of Clause 3 (Privacy) in relation to material that is freely available on the internet is one that it has faced on a number of occasions in recent years.  In each instance it reached a decision only after a detailed examination of the facts of the case.

The PCC says that it proposes to publish guidance for publications on these matters, drawing from its decisions on previous cases.  To read the PCC statement in full, click here.

High Court declines to grant Steve McClaren an interim non-disclosure order to prevent publication of a story relating to an extra-marital affair.

The High Court has declined to grant an interim non-disclosure order against News Group Newspapers Ltd (NGN), publishers of The Sun newspaper, preventing publication of a story relating to a sexual relationship between the claimant, Steve McClaren, and a woman referred to in court as “SA”.

The newspaper wanted to write about an encounter between Mr McClaren and SA when they were alone together in her flat in Manchester.  Mr McClaren did not deny his relationship with SA, nor did he dispute that he had gone with her to her flat.  A journalist had taken a photograph of the couple walking along the street on their way there.  NGN had the photograph and wanted to publish it alongside an article on the story. 

In 2006 Mr McClaren had had another extra-martial relationship, which had been revealed by The Sun.  On that occasion, he had not attempted to prevent publication and in fact the article ended with a quote by Mr McClaren saying that the affair had been a lapse and that he wanted to draw a line under it and concentrate on his family and his job as manager of Middlesbrough Football Club. 

Applying the requisite two-stage test and examining first whether Mr McClaren’s Article 8 rights were engaged, Mr Justice Lindblom “had no difficulty in accepting” that a sexual relationship “is of the essence of private life”.  Article 8 was therefore clearly engaged in the circumstances of the case and Mr McClaren therefore had a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of the private information. 

Balancing Mr McClaren’s Article 8 rights against NGN’s rights under Article 10, however, Lindblom J found that the weight of argument lay in favour of NGN.

In the judge’s view, Mr McClaren was, as a former manager of England’s football team, “undoubtedly a public figure within the definition recognised by Tugendhat J in Spelman v Express Newspapers [2012] EWHC 355 (QB)”.  Further, it was a matter of fact that Mr McClaren had previously disclosed an extra-marital relationship in a national newspaper, saying that he was happily married and that his marriage would survive.

Lindblom J also accepted that NGN had a legitimate interest in publishing the story as it wanted to make the point that high standards of conduct, such as had been clearly present amongst the athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games, were absent in football.  It was up to the newspaper how it did this and was not for a court to decide.  The judge was persuaded that Mr McClaren belonged to the category of those from whom the public could reasonably expect a higher standard of conduct: he was clearly a prominent public figure who had held positions of responsibility in the national game. 

Lindblom J also concluded that Mr McClaren would be most unlikely to succeed in obtaining a permanent injunction.  Therefore, striking the balance between Mr McClaren’s Article 8 rights and NGN’s Article 10 rights, the judge found that it “came down decisively in favour of NGN”.  Accordingly, he declined to grant the order. (Steve McClaren v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2012] EWHC 2466 (QB) (5 September 2012) – to read the judgment in full, click here). 

Film & TV

European Parliament adopts report on how Europe’s cinema could reach a wider public by more efficient distribution of films and other audiovisual materials online.

The report, from French Christian-Democrat Jean-Marie Cavada, finds that online distribution “could make all the difference” to the film industry.  To achieve this, Mr Cavada said in an interview with European Parliament news, it will be essential to develop subtitling, ease cross-border licensing, establish new business models and introduce innovative payment methods, especially for small and medium-sized companies.  Mr Cavada also said that online distribution could make European films more popular, which would create new business opportunities at the same time. 

Mr Cavada said that cinemas would remain important throughout Europe. “Smaller theatres have always been instrumental in showing art house films, which helps to promote the cultural wealth and diversity of our continent”, he said.  In fact, the Report calls for the distribution chain to remain intact, Mr Cavada said, so that cinema operators are guaranteed a share.  Nevertheless, the Report recommends more flexibility in exploiting business opportunities in order not to hamper the development of online distribution.

As for protecting authors’ rights, Mr Cavada noted that Parliament “recognises the importance of protecting copyright as it is an essential tool for maintaining creativity in the cultural and audiovisual sectors”.  Mr Cavada also said that he saw “no conflict between developing the digital market and safeguarding copyright, but it will be necessary for people working in the industry to adapt to these changes”.  Further, the EU can help with the transition by creating the right conditions needed for complying with the law, facilitating cross-border licensing and simplifying the procedure for copyright collecting.  To read the interview in full, click here.

 

 

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