Independent film financing has never been a walk in the park, and a lukewarm American Film Market this month coupled with an age of political, digital and economic uncertainty mean the preselling game has become more challenging than ever.
But if there’s one thing that could kill off the entire indie business as we know it: a series of regulations being mulled over in Europe right now with regard to the European Commission’s strategy for a Digital Single Market. Indeed, it’s a complex issue, but at its beating heart lies a dangerous prospect for the future of the audio-visual sector, which threatens to dismantle territory-by-territory licensing in Europe.
Source: Europe’s Digital Single Market: How It Could Kill The Indie Biz | Deadline
A French law that allows royalty collectors to authorise the publication of digital versions of out-of-print books is not compatible with the EU copyright directive, Europe’s top court has ruled.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that authors must be informed about any plans to release their out-of-print books in this way so that they can object if they wish, and that the French law does not require this.
Source: French law on digital versions of out-of-print books flouts EU directive | Ars Technica UK
In a case that first originated in the Dutch library system, the Court of Justice of the European Union–the chief judicial authority of the EU–has ruled that lending of e-books and physical books should be treated the same. The action brought concerns about the ‘one copy, one user’ model, which blocks a library from lending out more than one copy of an e-book at a time.
The case hinged on the interpretation of a 10-year-old EU directive covering book lending, which states “that the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit such rentals and loans belongs to the author of the work.
Source: European Publishers ‘Shocked’ at EU E-book Lending Ruling
The creative industries need to make the most of the UK’s voice and influence in discussions over the digital single market and copyright framework while it “still has a seat at the table”, and exploit the “major opportunities” of non-EU export markets, representatives of the industries have said.
Speaking at a joint meeting last week of the Publishing and Intellectual Property All Party Parliamentary Groups on the digital single market and Brexit, representatives of the publishing, audio visual and music industries gave their thoughts on the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship.
Source: UK must use its EU influence ‘while it can’, say creative industries | The Bookseller
Groups ranging from SESAC to SoundExchange, the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and Azoff MSG Entertainment have jointly written to U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony L. Gardner, and other offices, calling for them to back Article 13 of the recent EC Copyright Directive.
The letter explains: “We enthusiastically support passage of Article 13 of the recent proposed EC Copyright Directive, which will benefit American creators by directly addressing what has been called the ‘Value Gap’.”
Source: US music biz urges Government to back EU proposals to squeeze YouTube ‘value gap’ – Music Business Worldwide
The objective of the proposed Regulation is to allow consumers access to online content services such as music, films, games and sporting events, not only when they are in their country of residence but also when they are in another Member State.
In essence, content which has been legally subscribed for or purchased in the consumer’s county of residence shall equally be accessible by the consumer whether they are in their country of residence or in another Member State. This is commonly referred to as content which is “geo-blocked” due to copyrights.
Source: The European Digital Single Market Strategy and Related Copyright Law Implications: The Status Quo – Lexology
Amazon.com Inc. is in talks with European Union regulators to settle an antitrust probe into how its e-book contracts with publishers may be squeezing out rival distributors, according to people familiar with the case.
Amazon, already the target of an EU investigation into its tax arrangements with Luxembourg, is trying to do a deal with the European Commission that would shut down the year-long e-books probe, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are confidential and at an early stage. Any deal would have to be tested with publishers before it became final, they said.
Source: Amazon Said to Weigh EU Settlement in Bid to End E-Books Probe – Bloomberg