PRESS RELEASE published on 28 May 2018

EBU expresses disappointment at Council's approach on contract law provisions of the Copyright Directive

The EBU has expressed its disappointment at the common approach agreed by the Council of Ministers on the contract law provisions of the Copyright Directive (Articles 14-15).

Following weeks of discussions, the Council, despite the call made by several Member States, has failed to create a sensible balance between providing transparency to authors and performers on the one hand, and the workability and pragmatism required on the other.

While useful exemptions have been introduced, the EBU is still concerned by the obligation to report automatically (and individually) to authors and performers on the use of their works at least once a year.

The EBU had outlined how this agreed approach would place an unprecedented burden on the creative industries at a time when they are already facing significant market disruption. Implementing this obligation would be costly and time-consuming and would, in the end, divert money from new investments in content.

The proposed new Directive will place huge administrative burdens on the audiovisual sector.  It needs to be remembered that broadcasters can be managing as many as 250,000 contracts every year with individual rightsholders.  

EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank said: ‘For EBU Members this is a very disappointing conclusion. Member States had ample opportunity to ensure pragmatism and common sense but unfortunately the conclusion will result in cumbersome bureaucratic procedures for our Members.

"We are disappointed that the call made from the EBU for a more balanced approach has not been taken on board. Whilst we support the principles of transparency and also fair remuneration, this conclusion is simply not practical and realistic in its ambition.

"Public service media play a unique role within our societies, investing over €16 billion in content every year. The capacity of our Members to continue to invest would be seriously challenged if costly transparency requirements were to be established and implemented.”