Public service media (PSM) organizations create, produce, assemble and distribute a vast amount of original programmes on a daily basis for TV, radio, linear online and on-demand services.  Our Members make an unparalleled contribution to the creative economy in Europe, with an investment of roughly 16 billion euros a year in original European content. Behind most of these programmes lie a vast number of rights and a wide variety of rights holders who are remunerated via the licensing their work.

Audiences today expect to watch or listen to content across devices (TV, radio, online). PSM have adapted to this demand by making their programmes available for live viewing, catch-up and on-demand, as well as through the traditional linear means on multiple platforms. Modern and easy rights’ clearance licensing mechanisms are crucial to enable audiences to benefit from cross-device programming in in the EU.


Territoriality and contractual freedom are key for the creative economy

Contractual flexibility must be maintained, as it enables rightsholders and users to negotiate how, when and where licensed content is offered, in order to best match consumer preferences. This flexibility hinges upon the possibility to exploit all types of works on a territorial basis and, as regards audiovisual programmes in particular, on an exclusive basis.

In practice, territoriality underpins the funding of European works and has a positive effect on the creative value chain and cultural diversity. By contrast, its abolition would have serious unintended consequences for audiences, limiting choice in terms of quantity and diversity. It would also tend to favour only the largest copyright users and intermediaries acting at a pan-European or global scale.

Preserve extended collective licensing systems

PSM broadcasters based in European countries which have established "extended collective licensing" (ECL) systems in their national copyright laws have in many cases been able to unlock their huge audio and audiovisual archives for viewers and listeners, or found it easier to launch new digital services.

Based on voluntary agreements between copyright users and rightholders’ representatives, such as collecting societies, the ECL system offers specific solutions for the most complex licensing cases, for example when certain rightsholders cannot be precisely identified (orphan works) or are extremely numerous.

EU legislation in the area of copyright and licensing should promote these valuables systems where they do not yet exist in the EU Member States.

Protect broadcasters' neighbouring rights worldwide

For many years, the EBU and other broadcasting unions worldwide have been advocating the need for urgent improvements to broadcasters' rights.

The need to provide broadcasters with substantial legal protection against broadcast piracy has drastically increased in the online world. The current level of protection is far from sufficient to combat modern-day piracy (above all via the internet) in an effective manner. For example, at the EU-level there is no protection of broadcasters' online signals. This harms the enormous investment that broadcasters undertake for their programming, including for major sports or cultural events, and for making that programming available to citizens in the most convenient and accessible ways.

10 Sep 2020
EBU response to the targeted consultation on the DSM Copyright Directive Article 17 Guidelines
EBU response to the targeted consultation on the DSM Copyright Directive Article 17 Guidelines
15 Mar 2019
Legal & Policy Focus - Broadcasters' Rights: Towards a new WIPO treaty
The aim of this Legal & Policy Focus is to further the understanding, in particular among legal practitioners of broadcasting organisations and other lawyers dealing with copyright issues, of the “neighbouring”...
26 Nov 2018
Modernising retransmission rights will broaden citizens' access to programmes
Negotiations on the so-called SatCab Regulation are entering their final phase. EBU and media partners are calling on European Institutions to not miss a crucial opportunity to modernise retransmission rights and thus grant broader access to their programmes for EU citizens.
18 Jan 2017
EBU position - EU Regulation on Broadcasters Online Transmissions
Why the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on broadcasters’ online transmissions and retransmissions (broadcasting regulation) should be supported.
10 Mar 2016
Copyright Handbook
With its new Copyright Handbook, the EBU provides its Members with a reference tool addressing the main copyright issues faced by broadcasters. This Handbook is complementary to the EBU Copyright Guide,...
27 Nov 2015
EBU Reply to the EC consultation on the review of the EU Satellite and Cable Directive
The EBU Reply underscores the success of the current Directive while calling for the extension of the satellite rule to broadcasters' online services and for technological neutrality for the simultaneous...
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