The European Commission seeks the views of all interested parties on how to make Europe’s audiovisual media landscape fit for purpose in the digital age.
The European Commission seeks the views of all interested parties on how to make Europe’s audiovisual media landscape fit for purpose in the digital age.
Four European umbrella organizations: European Broadcasting Union, European Composers and Songwriters Alliance, European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composer and the Global Voice of Music Publishing officially released a recommendation that sets out principles aimed at encouraging the aggregation of rights for the licensing of certain broadcast-related online activities on a cross-border basis.
These principles are pursued to strike a balance between the stakeholders’ interests and objectives to lead to the cross-border licensing of public service broadcasters. The recommendation aims to simplify the basis on which licenses of musical works in the context of “broadcast-related online activities”, i.e. additional online content related to their regular broadcasting services will be implemented within the European Union. As well as promoting a voluntary re-aggregation of rights, the recommendation also underline high levels of transparency for authors/composers and publishers, fair compensation and efficient, modern and non-discriminatory administration arrangements.
Blog written by Réka Markovich, ELTE University
EUscreenXL’s objective is to provide online access to audiovisual archives and collections. EUscreen as a foundation represents its members. It voices the opinion of audiovisual archives in complex discussions about copyright regimes and copyright reform by advocating for widespread and equal access to Europe’s audiovisual heritage. A few months ago, we reported on the dialogue Licenses for Europe, in which a dedicated Audiovisual-Heritage Working Group took part. Shortly afterwards, in December 2013, the European Commission announced a Consultation of the review of EU copyright rules.
The aim of the consultation was to ‘gather input from all stakeholders’ and was sent out to individuals, institutions, companies and lobby groups alike. The EU identified a broad set of areas in the copyright rules to be discussed, among which territoriality in the Single Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age, and others. The consultation is an important step in a conversation about copyright and an impressive 11.117 contributions were received. One of these was the contribution from EUscreenXL, as the questionnaire contained many topics relating to the barriers and benefits of bringing audiovisual heritage online. In relevant cases EUscreen aligned it’s response with the views as phrased in the Europeana response in this stakeholder dialogue. Some partners of the project, such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Ina and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, prepared a separate response. All the position papers sent in will soon be available from the European Commission’s website.
Over next years EUscreen will actively contribute to the debate on copyright reform. In May, we’re coming together with experts at the Europeana headquarters to discuss these topics for audiovisual archives – let us know if you’d like to be part of the discussion. We will further advocate for harmonisation of EU copyright rules so audiovisual archives can improve online and on-site access to their collections in these rapidly changing environments. We are looking forward to the outcomes of the consultation and to continuing this important dialogue. You can find and download our response here.
The European Audiovisual Observatory has published a new report on the TV news market in Europe (covering 38 countries). The entire 100-page report is free to download here. This report provides an overview of the types of channels both national and international, the balance between public and private, and the dominant languages of news channels in Europe.
A review of developments in new media use and online viewing with particular reference to news is provided on the basis of recent studies by national organisations such as the ALM, CNC, and OFCOM, and a range of industry research and surveys.
In today’s digital context there are many new ways of providing, creating and distributing content as well as new ways to generate value. In order to ensure that copyright and licensing stay fit for purpose in this world, the European Commission started a stakeholder dialogue titled Licenses for Europe. Its main purpose was to deliver “rapid progress in bringing content online through practical, industry-led solutions.” The initiative held its final plenary session on November 13th in Brussels.
Report by Réka Markovich, ELTE University
Participants of the dialogue included representatives from interested parties such as consumer and digital rights organizations – and the topic touches on the lives of many. IT and technology companies, internet service providers, film heritage institutions, broadcasters, public libraries, authors, producers, performers and other copyright rightholders in the audiovisual, music, publishing and video game industries all took part. However, as the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRI) points out, after 10 months of debate, there is little consensus between these different stakeholder groups as to how to make EU copyright fit for the digital age in law and in practice. The final plenary meeting provided an opportunity for the different working groups to report-back to the plenary on their conclusions. The main critique of the EDRI is that in the process, all attention went to establishing relationships between rights holders and platform developers – thus excluding other approaches and larger attempts at a much needed copyright reform. In their words: In the current technological environment, copyright affects ordinary citizens and many professionals, such as teachers and cultural heritage professionals, that are not represented by the two industries that Commission’s approach suggests are the only legitimate stakeholders. There are user rights at stake in this discussion that are extremely important in fields other than popular culture, in particular in education, but also for political expression and democratic participation.
At this final meeting, moderator Norman Jardine invited the four thematic working groups each in turn to introduce their results and outcomes.
From Working Group1, which has worked on cross-border access and portability of services, the sub-group of Print — represented by Fabian Paagman — was the first on the floor. Fabian introduced a roadmap by e-book sector on improved availability of e-books across borders and across devices. Their statement is available to read here.
Bertrand Moullier from IFTA represented the sub-group Audiovisual in WG1 and talked about cross-border portability of subscription services, introducing a joint statement by the audiovisual industry. Gradually offered cross-border portability would make it easier for consumers to legally access films and TV programmes from their home member state when travelling abroad on holidays or business trips. The representatives of this sector (twelve organisations) affirmed their willingness to continue to work towards this.
Working Group2 has worked on user-generated Content and Licensing for Small-scale Users of Protected Material. Frances Lowe, representing PRS for Music and GESAC, talked on what kind of commitments the music sector has made on easier licensing for music. So did Olivia Regnier from IFPI, who announced a pan-European licensing scheme for small-scale users.
Anita Huss-Ekerhult from IFRRO introduced a toolkit solution proposed by the rights holder communities in the print industry for licensing including micro-licensing in text and images works. You can find this toolkit here [PDF].
The next speaker from WG2 was Angela Mills Wade from EPC, with a pledge to enable the identification of your work and rights online. This introduced roadmap enables creators to attach a machine-readable identification to their content, which helps using and re-using content. Sarah Davis, commercial legal director of the Guardian Media Group introduced a declaration on improving the user experience in the digital environment, that is: How to involve readers more actively in online press.
After these pledges the time had come for presentations. Paul Keller from Kennisland voiced a critical opinion on the results of WG2 and drew attention to the difference between licensing and creating user rights. After Paul we heard two presentations on user-generated content: from the perspective of YouTube from the European IP Policy Manager of Google, Tobias McKenney, and from the perspective of Sony ATV’s Antony Bebawi.
Nicola Mazzanti, president of ACE talked about the agreement on principles and procedures between rights holders and European film heritage institutes, pursuing the goal of getting more heritage films online. This statement was signed at the end of the plenary meeting. With this statement, film heritage institutions and film producers now have a clearer agreement on how to go about digitizing, restoring and making available European film heritage without requiring changes in legislation. Nicola Frank from EUscreenXL partner EBU introduced the discussion between public broadcasters and rights holders on freeing up TV archive footage through digitization. Considering that we have to count on a myriad of rights holders, clearing the rights makes the use of such materials highly expensive and time-consuming, so participants agreed to find solutions.
James Taylor, communications officer of the SAA introduced in a pledge the audiovisual industry’s declaration to improve the identification and discoverability of audiovisual content online. The parties here declared to make current standards interoperable and to use them widely, which should help streamline their distribution.
The fourth working group focused on Text and Data Mining. Here only Eefke Smit from STM talked about the scientific publisher’s commitment on easier text and data mining of subscription-based material for non-commercial researchers. As a solution, publishers proposed a licensing clause, a “mining portal” and a “click-through license”.
After these pledges and presentations, the three commissioners — by whom this dialogue was jointly led — evaluated the results of the dialogue. All of them mentioned that first of all, practical solutions were required.
With this final plenary meeting, the Licences for Europe dialogue came to an end. The Commission will follow up more specifically on some of these initiatives, such as the agreement to carry out an ad hoc dialogue on broadcasting archives, where further work will have to be carried out as a result of Licences for Europe. In all cases, the Commission will continue to provide information on the state of implementation of the different initiatives. The Commission is currently working on an Impact Assessment and in this context will shortly launch a public consultation on the on-going review.
In EUscreenXL, we recently closed our first stakeholder survey, directed at collections managers and legal experts. It was held to obtain a pan-European overview of the difficulties memory organisations and audiovisual archives experience when they decide to bring their collections to the web. Together with Europeana, we plan to hold an IPR-focused workshop in early spring in order to develop the policy and advocacy steps the audiovisual heritage domain can take to improve the public’s access to audiovisual sources through the web.
By Johan Oomen – technical director EUscreen and Europeana Network Officer – @johanoomen
Europeana has become the unifying entity that brings together collections from all domains: libraries, archives, audiovisual collections (both television and film) and museums. Alarmingly, Europeana’s future is under threat. In the next few weeks, Member States are expected to decide the EU’s budget for 2014-2020. The way the budget of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility is allocated will determine how Europe’s rich heritage can be enjoyed, studied and repurposed. With this post, EUscreen would like to extend its full support to Europeana’s #AllezCulture campaign to secure EU funding after 2015.
Europeana has evolved from a temporary project to a full network organisation. To date, it has successfully standardised and connected data from over 2,200 organisations, which cover all European countries and 29 European languages. An important, unifying asset for Europeana is that it serves as the innovative ‘hadron collider ‘ for Europe’s cultural sector. It does so by leading the movement towards open access, by harnessing the power of participatory culture and by implementing emerging IT standards in working systems. With a critical mass of content available online, the exploration of new applications by the creative industries are now taking shape. By making collections available online, interest is raised in both the public and commercial sectors. EUscreen for instance has already seen an increase of footage sale requests from the content that is made available through the portal.
Without support from the European Union, EUscreen would not exist today. EUscreen and its sister projects such as the European Film Gateway have been granted financial support within a wider EU policy on providing unified access to Europe’s audiovisial heritage. Today, Europeana provides access to over 181.000 audiovisual items, a number to grow exponentially over the next years.
EUscreen and Europeana are connected in many ways; they are part of the same ecosystem. Not only in terms of technical standards to make unified access possible. The vision is, and has to be, much more ambitious than that. In an online context where sharing is the norm, it becomes almost a necessity for memory organisations to make their collections available online in order to retain and support community interest. Collections and their users now share the same information space. As a result, organisations rapidly need to adapt to maintain their relevance in this changing environment. We already see how, in the current economic climate, public libraries and public broadcasters are put under pressure to continuously demonstrate their added value, also in terms of their direct economic impact. This can be difficult to measure, also given the changing context in which these organisations find themselves in. Memory institutions need to receive the necessary support to forge their future missions and services, collaboratively. The Europeana Network will play a key role here, as it has broad support across memory organisations, has deep understanding of various stakeholders and also the critical mass to make necessary policy recommendations heard.
Over the years, EUscreen has become the leading network of television collection holders with a united vision to share the wealth of their collections to a wide and diverse audience. With support from EBU, FIAT-IFTA, PrestoCentre, IASA and other key stakeholders, EUscreen is making this vision a reality each day. Currently, 29 archives from 25 countries are connected to EUscreen. EUscreen provides free and non-commercial access to Europe’s history as captured in moving images. This collection will continue to grow, and so will the services offered through the EUscreen portal. For instance, by further supporting multilingual access through subtitles, or expanding the material on the open access portal. This summer, the EUscreen Foundation will be established, providing the legal framework that will govern the EUscreen network as it expands well into the future.
Again, EUscreen and Europeana are part of the same ecosystem, aiming to:
Europe has collectively invested over 1.2 billion euros in digitisation. Europeana is the only platform that brings this data together and offers it for unlimited use. We have just begun to unlock its potential. We, therefore, urge the EU to allocate sufficient funds in the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ to allow the Europeana Ecosystem to further expand and live up to its ambitions vision.
We encourage all audiovisual archives to express their support. Capture the attention and imagination of the people who influence decisions on CEF funding – raise your voice and share the successes and value that you have helped create via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and any other channels you can think of.
Please visit the #AllezCulture! Campaign page and see how you can help.
Watch Neelie Kroes’ plea to embrace open culture
As Europe’s digital museum, library and gallery, Europeana www.europeana.eu has grown from a portal of two million digitised objects in 2008 to a repository for 23 million objects with 2200 partners across Europe. Today, it is at the forefront of promoting open cultural data in support of digital innovation across Europe. Access to online open data fuels creativity and innovation and creates opportunities for millions of Europeans working in Europe’s cultural and creative industries. The sector represents 3.3% of EU GDP and over €150 billion in exports. Supporting the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, Europeana is working to make data openly available to the public and private sectors so it can be used to develop innovative applications for tablets and smartphones and to create new web services and portals. Through its Data Exchange Agreement, with partners across Europe, it is moving towards the goal of making the data for 23 million cultural objects available for re-use under open licence.
EUscreen, the best practice network for Europe’s television heritage, organises its third and final international conference on Television Heritage and the Web. The conference will take place in Budapest on 13 and 14 September 2012. The programme consists of two workshops, a plenary session with keynotes and case studies by renowned experts in the field.
Date: 13-14 September 2012
Location: ELTE University, Budapest, Hungary
Today, most broadcasters devote resources to web-based forms of television, both in terms of new programming and older programme materials. Broadcast archives are becoming increasingly important as ‘old’ television content has the potential to attract online users. As a result, the major question for audiovisual archives, scholars and media professionals is: What does the current shift to online forms actually imply for television heritage?
The conference Television Heritage and the Web will discuss and analyse the opportunities and challenges of the current media changes. The conference includes a range of international experts and a workshop titled EUscreen best practice applications showcase, which explores the exploitation of broadcast material in the fields of learning, research, leisure/cultural heritage and creative reuse.
Please go to http://euscreen2012.eventbrite.com for programme updates and make sure to register in time for this event.
For travel, accomodation and much more info go to the conference info page under Events.
You can also download the Press release EUscreen Budapest Conference 2012.