New Rights or New Business Models? An Inquiry into the Future of Publishing in the Digital Era

International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC) 48, No. 5 (2017), pp. 538-561

24 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2017

See all articles by Martin Senftleben

Martin Senftleben

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Maximilian Kerk

University of Bologna

Miriam C. Buiten

University of Mannheim

Klaus Heine

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law

Date Written: July 5, 2017

Abstract

In its Proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, the European Commission included a new neighbouring right for press publishers with regard to the digital use of their publications “to ensure quality journalism and citizens’ access to information.” Undoubtedly, a free and pluralist press is one of the cornerstones of democratic societies. The question is, however, whether this goal can be achieved by adopting an additional layer of protection. From an economic perspective, it seems essential that publishers, including press publishers, develop new business models in the digital environment. To ensure the survival of quality journalism, it is of utmost importance to support the transition to new business models that has already started in the publishing sector. Hence, the question arises whether the proposal of a new neighbouring right is a legislative initiative that makes sense against this background. To answer this question, the following inquiry will first provide an economic analysis of new business models in the publishing industry. On this basis, it becomes possible to assess the proposal of a new neighbouring right in the light of the need to develop new business models that are sustainable in the digital environment. The analysis will show that the introduction of a new neighbouring right is unlikely to offer support in this respect. Instead, it may even impede or delay necessary modernization steps.

Keywords: EU Copyright Law, Neighbouring Right of Publishers, New Business Models, Content Platforms, Community Building, Branding and Superstar Culture, Database Protection, Quality Journalism, News Aggregators

Suggested Citation

Senftleben, Martin and Kerk, Maximilian and Buiten, Miriam C. and Heine, Klaus, New Rights or New Business Models? An Inquiry into the Future of Publishing in the Digital Era (July 5, 2017). International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC) 48, No. 5 (2017), pp. 538-561. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3066591

Martin Senftleben (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rechten.vu.nl/senftleben

Maximilian Kerk

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

Miriam C. Buiten

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Klaus Heine

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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