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EU: Hollywood studios, football leagues urge EC rethink on copyright

 |  September 1, 2016

The heads of some of the biggest Hollywood studios, commercial broadcasters and European football leagues have urged the European Union to reconsider a planned copyright overhaul they fear will lead to lower investment in films and TV shows.

In a letter to the presidents of the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament, they warn that the EU’s plans to help make more films and TV shows available online across borders will have “severe negative impacts on our industry and incentives to invest, which would stunt economic growth and innovation for years to come.”

The Commission, the EU executive, wants to make it easier for broadcasters like the BBC and Canal Plus to show their content online across the 28-nation bloc by allowing them to clear the rights solely in their home country.

But many broadcasters, film producers as well as the sports industry are fiercely opposed, arguing that it will dilute the value of exclusive rights and undermine the industry’s financing model.

Films and TV shows are often financed by selling exclusive distribution rights on a country-by-country basis to secure investment.

The CEOs of companies including Fox Network Groups, NBCUniversal, broadcasters Sky and Mediaset and the British, French, Italian, German and Spanish football leagues said the planned reform “represents a significant, unjustified and detrimental incursion into rights owners’ and broadcasters’ freedom to exploit their intellectual property rights.”

“The negative effects of such an intervention would lead directly to lower levels of investment in European content production, promotion and distribution,” says the letter, dated Aug. 26 and seen by Reuters.

Full Content: Reuters

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