EU Consultation on Online Distribution of Audiovisual Works

The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation on its green paper on the online distribution of audiovisual works ending on Friday, November 18th. The paper aims to facilitate a single market for the distribution of audiovisual works online and focuses on two areas in particular:

  • rights clearance issues with regards to the online transmission and retransmission of audiovisual works and video on demand services
  • remuneration schemes for rights holders, authors and performers for the online exploitation of their works

In addition to that, the paper also contains a section on audio-visual archives of public-interest institutions and access to online works for people with disabilities (pages 18 and 19).

Public archives of audio-visual works

The green paper notes that public archives are concerned that:

  • it is too costly and time-consuming for them to clear the rights of the works they hold;
  • the EU framework does not provide them with sufficient legal certainty to carry out processes such as format migration and the transmission of works to remote locations for preservation purposes.

The authors ask whether:

  • the non-mandatory exceptions in the Copyright Directive from 2001 (reproduction for preservation in libraries, in situ consultation for researchers) should become mandatory;
  • other measures should be considered to provide more legal certainty for public archives.

Access to online works for people with disabilities The Commission holds that too few broadcasters provide subtitles and audio-described programmes and seeks input on the following questions:

  • what barriers do people with disabilities face with regards to access to audiovisual media services?
  • does the copyright framework need to be adapted to improve accessibility to audiovisual works?
  • what are the practical benefits of harmonising accessibility requirements to online audiovisual services?
  • What other actions should be explored to increase the availability of audio-visual content?

The consultation on the green paper is open to all organisations and citizens in the European Union.

You can click here to submit a comment on the paper.

The full text can be reviewed here .

The press release can be reviewed here.