European publishers and Microsoft call for the establishment of an arbitration committee on neighboring rights

11/03/2021

On February 22, 2021, European publishers and Microsoft agreed to issue a press release in which they committed to work together to find a solution to guarantee the remuneration of European newspaper publishers.

The arbitration mechanism, modelled on the Australian system, would serve to ensure that structuring platforms with a dominant position fairly remunerate newspaper publishers under neighbouring rights when their content is used.

This remuneration would be in line with the objectives of the new regulation of neighbouring rights provided for in the European Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the digital single market, which is due to come into force in the summer of 2021.

The Australian system provides for the jurisdiction of an arbitration panel to establish a fair and equitable price, the calculation of which is based on an assessment of the benefits derived by the various parties from the distribution of content on the platforms, as well as the costs of producing the content and the undue burden on the platforms, the main risk of which is that the amount is too high.

The press release states that negotiations with the platforms will only be effective if additional regulatory measures are taken to balance the dominance relationship that the platforms enjoy. The platforms could thus arbitrarily threaten to withdraw from the negotiations or even from the market, thus leaving newspaper publishers powerless.

This arbitration mechanism would ensure the remuneration of related rights for newspaper publishers provided for in Directive 2019/790.

The signatories fear that without such a measure, press publishers would see their rights to equitable remuneration flouted and a breach of legal certainty created.

Microsoft’s position, which allies itself with the European media lobby, differs from that of its competitors, Facebook and Google, which are more reluctant to embrace this extension of copyright and related rights at the European level.

By the IP/IT team of UGGC Law Firm

Sources : https://blogs.microsoft.com/eupolicy/2021/02/22/europe-press-publishers-microsoft-call-for-australian-style-arbitration-mechanism-in-europe/

https://www.lefigaro.fr/medias/droits-voisins-microsoft-s-engage-avec-la-presse-europeenne-20210223

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