Europe reviews copyright law

European Commission seeks to harmonize rules

European regulators will propose in the second half of this year a legal framework for multiterritory and pan-European copyright licensing.

It will cover all forms of copyright but is expected to focus on the music industry. A separate initiative will address related issues in the audiovisual market.

Announcing the move Tuesday, the European Commission said that streamlining copyright licensing and revenue distribution is one of the most important challenges facing Europe’s single market in the digital age.

The legal framework will propose common rules on governance, transparency and supervision of copyright, including collectively managed revenue streams.

One likely outcome is the creation of European rights brokers “able to license and manage the world’s musical repertoire on a multiterritorial level while also ensuring the development of Europe’s cultural diversity,” the EC said. It’s also floating the idea of creating a European Copyright Code harmonizing and consolidating present EU law.

The EC also promises a consultation on the online distribution of audiovisual works that will address copyright, VOD services, the cross-border licensing of broadcasting services, licensing efficiency and the promotion of European works.The status of audiovisual authors and their participation in the benefits of online revenue streams will also be considered.