On March 23, 2016, the European Commission launched a survey regarding the role of publishers in the copyright value chain.
The purpose of this survey is to gather views as to whether publishers of newspapers, magazines, books and scientific journals are facing problems in the digital environment as a result of the current copyright legal framework. It will notably assess if publishers are able to licence and/or to be paid for online uses of their content.
This survey follows the EU communication towards a modern, more European copyright framework of December 6, 2015, which set the objective of achieving a well-functioning market place for copyright, notably because of the major changes new technologies brought to the way European citizens consum contents protected by IP rights.
Depending on the results of this survey, the EU Commission might decide to grant publishers a new neighboring right.
Neighbouring rights are rights similar to copyright but do not reward an authors’ original creation. They reward either the performance of a work or an organisational or financial effort which may also include a participation in the creative process. Currently, EU law only grants neighbouring rights to performers, film producers, record producers and broadcasting organisations.
Granting neighboring rights to publishers would lead to the creation of a new right that could have important impacts. That’s why, before moving forward, the Commission will have to assess the impact of this possible change on the whole publishing value chain, consumers/citizens and creative industries.
This survey is opened until June 15, 2016.