Monday

16th Sep 2019

Focus

Let people download music by text message, says EP report

  • Europeans should be able to pay for downloaded music via text messaging, suggests the report by a leading MEP (Photo: alles-schlumpf)

The EU should allow people to pay for downloaded music by text message, according to a European Parliament report on the audiovisual sector.

The proposal is one of the key reforms offered by Jean Marie Cavada, the French centre-right MEP responsible for drafting the parliament's position in response to a Green paper on the online audiovisual market published last summer by the European Commission.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

In the explanatory statement annexed to his report, Mr Cavada stated that "the parliament unequivocally acknowledges the need to protect authors' rights" adding that "we must now focus our effort on providing legal certainty in the online environment in Europe and make sure that there is not inequality of treatment between the online and offline markets."

Both Cavada and Polish centre-right MEP Piotr Borys of the Legal Affairs committee, also want to see reduced VAT rates for online cultural content in a bid to boost the digital market, alongside tough measures to block access to illegal downloads, particularly through web streaming sites.

The report, which will be debated in and amended by the Parliament's Culture committee, received cautious approval from the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA).

SAA spokesman James Taylor commented that while the report "covers many of the issues that the sector is faced with," the text "still needs some work to go beyond general principles and to offer precise political support to new mechanisms that would ensure that for screenwriters and directors get a fair share from the online distribution of their works.”

The report's publication comes as MEPs await long-anticipated legislation on collective rights management from the commission.

At last month's plenary session in Strasbourg, internal market commissioner Michel Barnier told MEPs that legislation on collective rights management was imminent, with the EU executive having concluded a public consultation on the legislation.

“We want to provide a clear legal framework to facilitate the granting of multi-territory online music licensing”, Barnier said.

Commission officials are said to be close to resolving details on harmonising transparency and governance rules for copyright societies; and developing new rules to allow multi-territory online music licensing.

However, the Cavada report offers only a lukewarm response to the idea of multi-territory licensing, describing it as "inappropriate to impose a legal requirement...since the commercial demand for such licences is extremely limited."

Meanwhile, Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes wants legislation on multi-sector licensing, which would radically change the way royalties are sold. This should be put forward alongside a paper on 'Connected TV' looking at ways to increase consumer access to television on demand and gaming. It is anticipated that up to 90 percent of TVs will be connected to the Internet by 2015.

EU court rules social networks cannot police downloads

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck the latest blow in the debate over internet policing, ruling on Thursday that online social network sites cannot be forced to construct measures to prevent users from downloading songs illegally.

Authors urge EU to protect rights against pirates

Film directors and screenwriters should be guaranteed minimum intellectual property rights by EU law, according to a group of leading trade organisations representing authors.

News in Brief

  1. Saudi oil production in flames after drone attack
  2. US: attack on Saudi oil came from Iran or Iraq
  3. Poll: Belgium's far-right Vlaams Belang largest party
  4. Nationalist parties to support Sanchez if he makes deal
  5. EU finance ministers support simplification of fiscal rules
  6. Italy's Renzi ready to set up new political force
  7. Two independents come top in Tunisia presidential election
  8. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy

Agenda

Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK

Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Boris Johnson for the first time, but no breakthrough is expected in Brexit talks. MEPs are preparing to hear from the commission-designates, while Hungary will be grilled at the EU affairs' ministers meeting.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. In detail: Belgium's EU nominee faces crime probe
  2. France urges EU virtual currency rules amid Libra risk
  3. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  4. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  5. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  6. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  7. Central European leaders demand Balkan EU accession
  8. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us