The Digital Single Market Strategy: intended and unintended consequences of the reform for sport content

Speakers: Horvath Szabolcs, Dalton Daniel, McCharty Arlene
Moderator: Lichtenhein Mark

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the theme of the intended and unintended consequences of the Digital Single Market reform for sport content with our distinguished speakers:

  • Mr Szabolcs Horvath, Member of Commissioner Navracsics Cabinet;
  • Mr Daniel Dalton MEP (ECR/UK);
  • Mrs Arlene Mc Charty, former Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

The debate will be moderated by Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition.  

This event is kindly sponsored by

About the debate

On the 25th of March 2015, the College of Commissioners had a first discussion on the Digital Single Market Strategy. Already in December 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker made the reform of the digital single market one of the priorities of his  mandate, pledging to “make much better use of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies” by “breaking down national silos” in several domains of the so-called digital single market such as telecoms, copyright and data protection, as well as  airwaves and competition law. The Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, presented at the same time his main goals: the establishment of a revised copyright and licensing regime, a single contract law for online transactions and the abolition of geoblocking.

However, the best use of the digital technology market potentials has been a fairly long-standing issue, as already discussed back in 2008 in the European Commission green papers on “copyright in the knowledge economy”, on “the online distribution of audiovisual works” and on “content online”. At that time this process culminated in the Commission’s communication of December 2012 on “content in the digital single market”, which set out two main streams of possible future action, namely, the review and modernisation of the EU copyright law on the one hand, and the facilitation of practical industry-led solutions through a stakeholder dialogue, on the other hand. Meanwhile, a public consultation of the European Commission in February 2015 covered the review of the EU copyright rules on several of the domains already identified in the December 2012 communication.

The subject of geoblocking has emerged as particularly controversial  since the question of territoriality of copyright is of pivotal importance for license sellers and broadcasters alike. Several stakeholders have  emphasised that, given its cultural and linguistic differences, the single market is by nature fragmented and reflects the economic reality of the European Union. According to them, existing territorial restrictions respond to specific linguistic and cultural tastes and markets.

Other observers underlined that the EU provisions of the copyright directive did not increase cross-border cultural exchange but hindered the circulation of knowledge and culture across borders. Nevertheless, vice-President Ansip reiterated on several occasions that Europe “should be on the front line of this digital revolution for its citizens and businesses” and that “obstacles to digitalisation are obstacles to employment, prosperity and progress”.

Please note that the debate will be held under the Chatham House Rule. The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a debate at 7h30 pm. After the debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.
 We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 12th of May at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels

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#DSA, #DMA, #Sports, #Geoblocking