During the last 20 years, new technologies together with the Internet have changed the way content is created and consumed. The digital environment presents challenges and the law should ensure that the different legal mechanisms (rights, exceptions, enforcement…) are fit for purpose in the digital world.
The Commission has started its review of the EU copyright framework by adopting in September 2016 a number of documents, namely a communication on ‘Promoting a fair, efficient and competitive European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market’, a draft directive on ‘copyright in the Digital Single Market’, and a draft regulation on ‘the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions’.


The growing complexity of much of the European cable business does not sit comfortably alongside today’s rules on collective management. The current rights clearance system put in place by the 1993 Satellite and Cable Directive (SATCAB) no longer corresponds to the needs of cable operators for meeting customers’ demand for innovative TV services.
We call for the current licensing regime for cable retransmission to apply in a technological neutral manner in order to improve the overall availability of content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. We also call for the current licensing regime to apply to ancillary interactive services which are in close connection to the linear TV content such as Catch-Up TV and Re-Start TV.
As Cable Europe noted in its press statement, the draft regulation ‘on certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmission of television and radio programmes’ disappointingly fails to improve the legal framework for cable customers.


Cable Europe believes that the portability of content within and across borders is important to enable subscribers to benefit from the content they have already paid for regardless of their location.

This seems to be a logical consequence driven by the emergence of IP technology, new devices and changes in customer habits.

Cable operators have launched new services to meet such customer demand, for example, services enabling cable subscribers to watch their content on computers, tablets and/or smartphones, and want to offer their customers access to their services wherever they are in the EU.

We have welcomed the regulation on portability of online content services and look forward to allowing cable customers to watch their favourite TV content when travelling in the EU.


The EU IPR Enforcement (IPRED) Directive defines civil and administrative measures to fight intellectual property rights (IPRs) infringements.

In April 2016, Cable Europe responded to the Commission’s public consultation on the evaluation and modernisation of the legal framework for the enforcement of IPRs, in the form of a position paper where we argue that rather than reviewing the directive, the Commission should focus on a better implementation of its provisions, for example by providing guidance on how to apply the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU on the balancing of the different rights at stake (i.e. those of copyright holders, service providers and users). Cable Europe had also responded in 2011 to a Commission’s consultation on the implementation of the IPRED Directive and in 2013 to the Commission’s consultation on the civil enforcement of IPR rights together with a joint statement co-signed by Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO and EuroISPA.


The 2014 Collective Rights Management Directive  aims to improve the standards for transparency/governance of collecting societies and make the multi-territorial licensing of music for the provision of online services easier.

Based on common principles, Cable Europe has worked intensively  with CUP (Copyright Users Platform) – gathering Cable Europe, EBU, HotRec (hotels & restaurants), AER (radios), Pearle (Theatres), GSMA, ETNO, ECTA and Digital Europe – in order to improve users’ position in negotiating with collecting societies. We have succeeded in having copyright users’ interests well safeguarded, in particular with regards to the transparency of repertoire and the way tariffs are negotiated and calculated by collecting societies.