Original article from: http://www.m-magazine.co.uk/news/digital-single-market-edges-closer/
The European Commission (EC) has outlined detailed proposals for its Digital Single Market strategy, which MEPs in Brussels have ruled to be ‘a step in the right direction’.
The new initiatives, which cover digital communications and cross-border online regulations, were welcomed by the majority of MEPs in a debate earlier this week.
The session was chaired by Andrus Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, and introduced three new proposal papers entitled Communication on Online Platforms, Geo-blocking Regulation and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
Included in them were plans to allow consumers and companies to buy and sell products and services online more easily across the EU, improvements to cross-border parcel delivery and enforcement of consumers’ rights across borders.
e-Commerce Directive upheld
In the Communication on Online Platforms paper, it was suggested there may still be ‘broad’ support for maintaining the existing principles of the e-Commerce Directive, which was first published in 2000.
Under the directive, the so-called safe harbour principle allows digital providers of certain online hosting services, in certain circumstances, to be exempt from liability for unlawful activity which takes place on their service.
While it is likely the EC will uphold this principle and the wider e-Commerce Directive in its Digital Single Market strategy, it has recognised serious issues in the remuneration of rightsholders when their works are used by online platforms.
To balance this, it has committed to an autumn copyright legislative package to achieve a fairer allocation of value generated by the copyright content on online platforms.
It has also committed to review the need for formal notice-and-action procedures, which occur when rightsholders request digital service providers remove their copyright works.
Transfer of value
In related news, the global authors’ society GESAC has welcomed the Commission’s inclusion of the ‘transfer of value’ issue in its Digital Single Market proposals, which recognises the fact that value made from cultural content by some online platforms doesn’t make its way to the creators.
Of particular interest to GESAC was the Commission’s announcement of a ‘sector-specific regulation in the area of copyright’, leaving any copyright issues to the care of the coming legislative proposal on the reform of the InfoSoc Directive.
GESAC said it welcomes this approach and believes that the current issues around copyright on online platforms, such as the transfer of value, can only be addressed efficiently through specific copyright legislation.
In all, the Digital Single Market Strategy includes 16 initiatives which will be presented by the end of this year.
For more information, please see https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/commission-releases-2016-european-digital-progress-report-unequal-progress-towards-digital
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