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Copyright and related rights: satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission

The purpose of this Directive is to promote the free cross-border satellite broadcasting of programmes and their cable retransmission from other Member States, and in particular to remove the obstacles arising from disparities between national provisions on copyright and from the legal uncertainty that exists in this field.

ACT

Council Directive 93/83/EEC of 27 September 1993 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission.

SUMMARY

Satellite broadcasting

The satellite broadcasting of copyright works requires the authorisation of the rightholder. The right may be acquired from the rightholder only by agreement.

Performers are granted an exclusive right to:

  • broadcast live performances by satellite;
  • fix (record) an unfixed performance;
  • reproduce a fixation of a performance.

Where a phonogram is used for a satellite broadcast, an equitable remuneration is to be paid to the performers, or to the producers of phonograms, or to both. Broadcasting organizations have exclusive rights over the retransmission, fixation and reproduction of fixations of their broadcasts.

Limits may be imposed on the right to authorise or prohibit broadcasting, for example in the case of private use or the use of short excerpts in connection with the reporting of current events.

Member States may establish more far-reaching protection than that required by the Directive.

Cable retransmission

Cable retransmission of broadcasts is governed by copyright and related rights in the Member States and by agreements between copyright owners, holders of related rights and cable operators.

These rights to authorise or prohibit the cable retransmission of a broadcast are exercised through a collecting society, except where they are exercised by a broadcasting organization in respect of its own transmissions.

Where no agreement can be reached allowing cable retransmission of a broadcast, the parties may call upon the assistance of one or more mediators. The mediators have the task of providing assistance with negotiation and may also submit non-binding recommendations to the parties.

The Directive also lays down rules governing the impact of the new provisions on existing situations, with special reference to current contracts and arbitration systems for disputes over the cable retransmission of broadcasts.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 93/83/EEC-1.1.1995OJ L 248 of 6.10.1993

RELATED ACTS

Report from the European Commission on the application of Council Directive 93/83/EEC on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission [COM/2002/0430 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
This report analyses the transposition into national law of Council Directive 93/83/EEC and examines the ractical application of the Directive.

The Commission notes that, generally speaking, the mechanisms put in place by the Directive contribute tothe cross-border broadcasting of television programmes. The Commission also presents certain lines of thought aimed at improving some of the mechanisms.

The Commission highlights two points which it intends to examine in greater depth:

  • the difficulties which citizens encounter in trying to access satellite channels transmitted outside the Member State in which they are resident;
  • the need to adapt certain current mechanisms relating to the protection of copyright and related rights (settlement of disputes, role of collecting societies).

In its conclusions the Commission emphasises that the methods of managing rights to cable retransmission and mediation will be assessed in the general context of the evolution of the media in the information society. Only after that has been done will the Commission consider whether or not to revise Directive 93/83/EEC.

Last updated: 09.05.2006
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