Advanced Television

Cable Europe calls for rights review

April 26, 2010

Cable Europe is taking the opportunity of the launch the European Commission investigation into transparency in the collective management of copyright, to call for a full scale review of the rules that govern relationships between rights owners, collecting societies and users of copyright content across Europe.

“The cable industry calls on the Commission to take an unbiased approach to reform on rights clearance. We have right before us the opportunity to make a new EU collective rights framework, promote progress and truly rely on the strengths of Europe's single market,” said Cable Europe MD, Caroline Van Weede. “Now is the time for Europe to make choices that not only take into account our modern society but work collectively to build future-proof rules for content that are free of discrimination, regardless of platform.”

The EU-wide review will seek to build more effective relationships between different stakeholders. Cable Europe contends that effective relationships will only be possible if increased transparency for collecting societies is called for by EU decision makers in conjunction with member state authorities. “What we have today is a regulatory framework that is outdated, is not technology neutral and unable to cope with the high-tech Europe of today. If we can get the balance right and make the best use of our world-class fibre-powered networks with the best content, Europe will benefit both economically and culturally,” stated Van Weede. The cable industry encouraged the European Commission to take on board a five-point strategy which would:

1. End discrimination to ensure that content regardless of technology platform is treated the same

2. Demand transparency, accountability and a functional dispute resolution for collecting societies

3. Encourage competition among collecting societies

4. Be market-oriented with regard to the pricing process of content

5. Promote flexibility in the current rigid rights negotiation process

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