Thursday, December 6, 2012
Collective Rights Management, Competition Policy and Cultural Diversity: EU Lawmaking at a Crossroads
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Christoph B. Graber, University of Luzern Law School discusses Collective Rights Management, Competition Policy and Cultural Diversity: EU Lawmaking at a Crossroads.
ABSTRACT: In the digital networked environment, user’s expectations of getting easy access to digital content all the time and through a multitude of devices clash with the territorial structure of copyright and the complications of the licencing process. Under these circumstances, systems of collective rights management (CRM) offering a one-stop shop for rights clearance would seem to be an attractive solution to simplify cross-border licencing and save on transaction costs. In the European Union (EU), the Commission has made many attempts over the last decade not only to make collective management organisations (CMOs) work more efficiently but also to bring them from a system of national licences granted by national monopolies to a system of EU-wide authorisations. The European Commission’s Proposal of 12 July 2012 for a directive on CRM is a confirmation of this policy. However, it is questionable whether these regulatory attempts are compatible with cultural diversity interests. This paper discusses the role of CRM in ensuring cultural diversity and how a purely competition-orientated approach can impinge on this. It does so through analysing EU case law and the Commission’s Proposal.