The increasing amount of cross border content distribution means there is no need for regulatory intervention, says the Association for Commercial Television.
In its response to the Green Paper on Audiovisual Works, the ACT calls on the European Commission to respect contractual freedom, arguing that territoriality and exclusivity are the cornerstones of the broadcast industry.
The comments come in the wake of the European Court of Justice decision that national laws that prohibit the import, sale of use of overseas smart cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services. It came after the campaign by Portsmouth landlady Karen Murphy to screen football coverage from the Greek satellite platform Nova.
“We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the discussions about the future of our sector. There is common ground between the EU Commission and the broadcasting business that the sector is undergoing a series of radical changes, affecting business models, consumer services and regulatory options,” said Philippe Delusinne, ACT President & CEO RTL Belgium. “However, anything we do and offer is only possible as long as it is underpinned by a robust copyright system”.
The ACT said there is a need to differentiate between rights acquisition and rights clearance/management. While rights acquisition relates to the process of buying the rights to show a programme; rights clearance/management refers to the clearing processes undertaken when broadcasting the content.
It believes the current regulatory regime allows the sale of content only in those markets where there is a clear, monetisable demand for it allows consumers in particular in smaller markets to access a varied range of content.
The ACT believes that the Cable and Satellite Directive should not be re-opened at this stage.