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. Cable Europe responded in 2014 to the Commission’s public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules and issued a joint statement together with ETNO, ECTA, EUROISPA, GSMA and CCIA on the same topic.

The Commission has now 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 and multi-territorial nature 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’ that the Commission adopted in September 2016 disappointingly fails to improve the legal framework for cable customers.


The EU IPR Enforcement (IPRED) Directive defines civil and administrative measures to fight intellectual property rights (IPRs) infringements. As announced in its communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, the Commission is expected to make proposals in 2016 to modernise the enforcement of IPRs, focusing on commercial-scale infringements (the ‘follow the money’ approach) as well as cross-border applicability.

Cable Europe 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. Most recently, Cable Europe has responded to the Commission’s public consultation (ended in April 2016) 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).


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.