The European Commission has made efforts to create a Digital Single Market (DSM) in which goods and services are offered online throughout the European Union (EU). As regards online distribution of content, these include legislative action in copyright and internal market law as well as enforcement measures in competition law. These efforts are now starting to bear fruit as legislative proposals have been – or are close to being – adopted.
Rosa Maria Ballardini, Kan He and Teemu Roos
Predicting the future of technology is notoriously difficult. Indeed, predicting how law and regulation should be shaped to meet the needs of future technological developments is a task that might often lead to hilarious predictions. The difficulty in predicting technological development is certainly reflected in the current debate about the future of artificial intelligence (AI).
In the context of its Digital Single Market strategy, the removal of territorial barriers in content distribution has become a priority for the European Union. Smooth access to high-quality and customized content offerings is regarded as a pre-condition for the development of well-functioning markets for creative works and the re-affirmation of the function of intellectual property in the online environment. Access to copyright works on a multi-territorial basis in Europe would entail both regulatory changes and economic incentives to be given to content creators and suppliers of online services who still find it more convenient to partition markets along national borders.
Taina Pihlajarinne, Juha Vesala and Olli Honkkila
The digital evolution – or revolution – has been having profound implications on the distribution of content online. New legal issues are constantly arising as companies and consumers seize the opportunities afforded by advances in technology. For instance, consumers have gravitated from watching live television towards watching television via mobile devices. This has given rise to legal issues relating to ability to access services abroad and across Member State borders, as well as to the ability of content service providers to enable this to be done lawfully. Naturally these developments have also attracted reactions from the EU and national policymakers.
Taina Pihlajarinne and Max Oker-Blom
When discussing online content production and distribution, 3D printing (3DP) represents an emerging technology that has the potential to rise to one of the important generators of the next industrial revolution. From a business point of view there are clearly many advantages of 3DP since it makes the manufacturing process much more efficient. The development of 3DP technology will, however, create many kinds of challenges related to intellectual property rights, many of which are of a fundamental nature.
Consumption of digital content such as movies, music or e-books forms a significant part of European consumers’ daily lives. The Digital Single Market (DSM) agenda of the European Commission seeks to release the untapped potential of e-commerce and online business models and addresses supply of digital content to consumers as part of the programme.
On 14 September 2016, the European Commission (the Commission) published a proposal for the so called DSM Directive. Ever since, this document has been the subject of heated debate not only within the European Parliament and the Council of Member States, but also among various interested parties, including rightholders, industry lobbies, non-governmental organisations, and consumer representatives. In addition, many academics have analysed the proposal in recent blogs, articles and seminars.
Anette Alén-Savikko and Tone Knapstad
This chapter addresses whether the Nordic extended collective licensing (ECL) scheme might resolve some of the challenges arising from online distribution, such as mass digitization and fragmentation of rights. Indeed, online distribution has created new possibilities for making works available in digital format as well as storing them. However, rights clearance can prove complicated, while works must often be used on a mass scale. This chapter provides an overview of ECL and analyses the opportunities and drawbacks of ECL as a solution for the digital realm, while also presenting some current use cases. The focus is on online distribution in particular, as opposed to digital media in general. However, ECL is not without its problems in terms of EU law and the international framework for copyright, or the cross-border nature of the online environment. Moreover, ECL has been developed in the specific socio-cultural environment in the Nordic countries.
The success of the Internet has often been credited to its openness. Both big and small content and application providers have experienced low barriers to entry to the Internet’s open platform. As a result, creation has flourished, leading to a multitude of innovative services. However, the openness of the Internet cannot and should not be taken for granted – several factors may affect how open the Internet is as a platform, thus affecting online distribution of content and services.
Taina Pihlajarinne, Juha Vesala and Olli Honkkila
This book examines current issues raised by online distribution of content in the European Union (EU) – ranging from questions relating to copyright infringement and enforcement to competition and protecting the interests of consumers. These issues are highly topical, especially since the European Commission has proposed measures to create a Digital Single Market (DSM) for digital content and online content services.