It is also seeking views on the impact of extending these rules to cover broadcasters' services (including TV and radio) provided over the Internet,
This consultation is part of a broader review of the 1993 EU Satellite and Cable Directive, one of the 16 initiatives announced in the Commission's plan for the Digital Single Market. In particular, the Commission aims to enhance cross border access to broadcasting and related online services across the EU. Removing barriers in the Digital Single Market will reward creation, and strengthen Europe's creative and broadcasting sector, while giving consumers access to a wider variety of works, especially across borders.
The Satellite and Cable Directive facilitates the clearing of copyright and related rights for satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission in order to improve the cross-border transmission and reception of broadcasting services.
Specifically, the Directive outlines how and where copyright and related rights should be acquired:
More than two decades since the Satellite and Cable Directive came into force, Europe's broadcasting landscape has changed dramatically. Digital technologies and the Internet mean that we have access to more content and channels, including on-demand, from more providers, and not just from the TV or radio sets, but also from our phones, tablets and other smart devices. Today, many broadcasters make programmes available on-line, for example through catch-up TV, and new forms of transmission (e.g. webcasting) or retransmission (e.g. simulcasting).
The Commission wants to assess, first, to what extent the Satellite and Cable Directive has improved consumers' cross-border access to broadcasting services in the Internal Market, and, also, what would be the impact of extending the Directive to TV and radio programmes provided over the Internet, notably broadcasters' online services.
The Commission is interested in hearing from consumers, public authorities, broadcasters, authors, audio-visual and record producers, performers, collective management organisations, satellite and cable operators, internet and online service providers and any other interested stakeholder in the consultation which is open until 16th November.
In parallel, the Commission is conducting a study to assess the functioning and relevance of the Directive as well as the legal and economic aspects of the evolving broadcasting landscape. The study will feed into the review. The results of the study will be made public in spring 2016.
In a related consultation on the Audio-visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), and which runs until 30th September, the Commission is asking how to make Europe's audiovisual media landscape fit for purpose in the digital age. The AVMSD underpins the principle of the freedom to transmit and receive television broadcasts or on-demand services across the EU.
The last specific review of the Satellite and Cable Directive took place in 2002. It pointed to the difficulties encountered by people when trying to access satellite TV on a cross-border basis, but concluded that it was too early to determine whether to extend the scope of the Directive. More recently, there have been two public consultations relevant for, but not focusing specifically on, this Directive:
The review of the Satellite and Cable Directive is linked to the Commission's plans to modernise EU copyright rules as set out in the plan for the Digital Single Market