European Copyright Society gets online

Holiday snap or ECS meeting?
Readers of this blog may be aware of the increasingly frequent activity of the European Copyright Society (ECS), composed of 21 European academics active in this area of the law and founded in 2012 "with the aim of creating a platform for critical and independent scholarly thinking on European copyright law and policy".

Professor Lionel Bently (University of Cambridge and current ECS Chair) has just informed the IPKat that the Society has finally set up a website, so that you can get all the relevant information, including photographs of its members.

Among the various activities, it is worth recalling how, prior to the 2014 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Svensson [discussed at some length on this very blog] and contrary to the Opinion of the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI) adopted the view that hyperlinking in general should not fall within the scope of copyright.

The ECS subsequently issued opinions on the notion of parody in the aftermath of the Deckmyn decision [another case followed with interest by this blogger: see here and here] and the importance of preserving the so called author principle at the time when the Reprobel case was still pending [here and here].

The ECS is now back with its response to the EU Commission's public consultation on the review of the Satellite and Cable Directive [here]. It stresses how, despite the adoption of the country of origin principle (aimed at facilitating rights clearance for transborder transmissions), territorial blocking occurs mostly with regard to satellite television services, especially in relation to sports, films and television series. 

As to the core issue of the desirability as such of extending this principle to online transmissions, the ECS appears to look at it favourably despite stressing how this "is not an easy task". In its submission the ECS also highlights certain shortcomings that may arise and need to be also addressed. 

More specifically:

"Extending the [Satellite and Cable] Directive’s country of origin model to online audiovisual services will work effectively only in combination with certain flanking measures, such as rules conditioning (or prohibiting) territorial licensing and/or geo-blocking. Such rules could be based on art. 18 TFEU and might take the form of ‘black’ and ‘grey’ lists setting out what kind of geographical restrictions are or are not permitted."

In any case, if EU copyright is in your heart and mind, stay tuned because *tomorrow* the EU Commission will unveil next steps in its copyright reform agenda. These are likely to include a proposal for a regulation on content portability. This Kat has had the opportunity to see a draft of the latter, and really looks forward to seeing whether the version to be presented tomorrow is the same ...
European Copyright Society gets online European Copyright Society gets online Reviewed by Eleonora Rosati on Tuesday, December 08, 2015 Rating: 5

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