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Legal & Public Affairs Assembly: Rights and territoriality in a border-free Europe

30 April 2015
Legal & Public Affairs Assembly: Rights and territoriality in a border-free Europe
Panel members debate territoriality and rights issues at the 9th LPAA in Geneva


The complex regulatory issues impacting the daily work of public service media organisations were top of the agenda for discussion at the 9th Legal and Public Affairs Assembly, held at EBU headquarters in Geneva (28-29 April).

Identifying the challenges for the ongoing reform of copyright legislation at European level and the territoriality of rights, including contractual issues related to sports broadcasts, the EBU gathered a panel of contributors with large expertise in each relevant field. Sports Consultant Richard Bunn joined Stephen Edwards (ReedSmith London), Stefan Kurten (EBU Sports and Business) and Peter MacAvock (EBU Technology and Innovation) to debate the best solutions for maintaining the territoriality of rights while promoting the geo-political reality of a border-free Europe.

'Doing nothing is not an option'

The panel discussed how public service broadcasters can best position themselves in this reform debate, starting from solutions that the EBU proposed for the new digital age. It was acknowledged that creating a Single Market requires a more ambitious approach than only the “portability” of domestic media services when travelling, not only because technical hurdles (eg for establishing remote access online and in the Cloud) must be overcome but also since consumers need better access to services from broadcasters in other Member States. To make that happens the existing copyright rules therefore need a modernized licensing framework which is adapted to today’s multi-platform world.

During the assembly, discussions were also held on freedom of expression, net neutrality, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and telecoms mergers.

Relevant links and documents