Copyright reform - Sharing of the value in the digital environment
In the recent past, the functioning of the online content marketplace has gained in complexity. Online service providers hosting and giving public access to copyright protected works are flourishing. At the same time, right holders increasingly face problems to ensure fair remuneration and maintain control over the distribution of their work. The Commission now proposes an obligation for online content service providers to install effective content recognition technologies to allow for a fairer compensation scheme for right holders. This proposal, however, raises several questions: Will mandatory technological measures be feasible in all sectors? Will they assure fair remuneration in the value chain? What consequences are to be foreseen for the “free internet” if user-generated content can be taken down in cases of minor infringements? How to strike the right balance between compensation for the use of copyright protected work and freedom of expression? Is a change of liability rules for platforms necessary and if yes, in which cases and would this be in line with EU case law on the e-commerce Directive which excludes liability for content for mere hosts?