Copyright Licensing and the EU Digital Single Market Strategy
Chapter in Roger D. Blair and D. Daniel Sokol, eds. (2016) Handbook of Antitrust, Intellectual Property and High Technology. New York: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming
20 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 30, 2015
In May 2015, the European Commission launched an ambitious Digital Single Market Strategy. One of the objectives of this agenda is to ensure that copyright-protected content is accessible across borders by end-users. The achievement of this goal requires the review of national copyright regimes to ease the cross-border transmission of content and the enforcement of EU competition rules. This piece explains the principles applying to the territorial licensing of copyright-protected content against the background of the Strategy and the proposals for legislative reform. As a matter of principle, it is lawful under EU competition law to grant an exclusive territorial licence to a single operator in a given Member State, and thus to prohibit the transmission of the same content by others in the territory subject to the licence. In certain circumstances, however, these agreements may be found to be contrary to Article 101(1) TFEU. The piece places an emphasis on the analysis of the Murphy case and provides the context to understand the ongoing proceedings against the ‘Big Six’ Hollywood major studios and Sky UK.
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