Public Consultation on Content Online in the Single Market

ORG's submission to the consultation.

A public consultation on ways to stimulate the growth of a true EU single market for online digital content, such as films, music and games, was launched by the European Commission.

Consultation begins on 1 August 2006. Consultation ends on 13 October 2006.

Subjects covered include DRM, network neutrality, privacy online, Lack of interoperability, protection of public interests, competitiveness, P2P, piracy.


Types of creative content and services online

1. Do you offer creative content or services also online? If so, what kind of content or services? Are these content and services substantially different from creative content and services you offer offline (length, format, etc.)?

2. Are there other types of content which you feel should be included in the scope of the future Communication? Please indicate the different types of content/services you propose to include.

Consumption, creation and diversity of online content

3. Do you think the present environment (legal, technical, business, etc.) is conducive to developing trust in and take-up of new creative content services online? If not, what are your concerns: Insufficient reliability / security of the network? Insufficient speed of the networks? Fears for your privacy? Fears of a violation of protected content? Unreliable payment systems? Complicated price systems? Lack of interoperability between devices? Insufficient harmonisation in the Single Market? Etc.

4. Do you think that adequate protection of public interests (privacy, access to information, etc) is ensured in the online environment? How are user rights taken into account in the country you live / operate in?

5. How important for you is the possibility to access and use all online content on several, different devices? What are the advantages and / or risks of such interoperability between content and devices in the online environment? What is your opinion on the current legal framework in that respect?

6. How far is cultural diversity self-sustaining online? Or should cultural diversity specifically be further fostered online? How can more people be enabled to share and circulate their own creative works? Is enough done to respect and enhance linguistic diversity?

Competitiveness of European online content industry

7. If you compare the online content industry in Europe with the same industry in other regions of the world, what in your opinion are the strengths and weaknesses of our industry in terms of competitiveness? Please give examples.

New business models and transition of traditional ones into the digital world

8. Where do you see opportunities for new online content creation and distribution in the area of your activity, within your country/ies (This could include streaming, PPV, subscription, VOD, P2P, special offers for groups or communities for instance schools, digital libraries, online communities) and the delivery platforms used. Do you intend to offer these new services only at national level, or in whole Europe or beyond? If not, which are the obstacles?

9. Please supply medium term forecasts on the evolution of demand for online content in your field of activity, if available.

10. Are there any technological barriers (e.g. download and upload capacity, availability of software and other technological conditions such as interoperability, equipment, skills, other) to a more efficient online content creation and distribution? If so, please identify them.

11. What kind of difficulties do you encounter in securing revenue streams? What should in your view be the role of the different players to secure a sustainable revenue chain for creation and distribution online?

Payment and price systems

12. What kinds of payment systems are used in your field of activity and in the country or countries you operate in? How could payment systems be improved?

13. What kinds of pricing systems or strategies are used in your field of activity? How could these be improved?

Licensing, rights clearance, right holders remuneration

14. Would creative businesses benefit from Europe-wide or multi-territory licensing and clearance? If so, what would be the appropriate way to deal with this? What economic and legal challenges do you identify in that respect?

15. Are there any problems concerning licensing and / or effective rights clearance in the sector and in the country or countries you operate in? How could these problems be solved?

16. How should the distribution of creative content online be taken into account in the remuneration of the right holders? What should be the consequences of convergence in terms of right holders’ remuneration (levy systems, new forms of compensation for authorised / unauthorised private copy, etc.)?

Legal or regulatory barriers 17. Are there any legal or regulatory barriers which hamper the development of creative online content and services, for example fiscal measures, the intellectual property regime, or other controls?

18. How does the country you mainly operate in encourage the development of creative online content and services?

Release windows

19. Are “release windows” applicable to your business model? If so, how do you assess the functioning of the system? Do you have proposals to improve it where necessary? Do you think release windows still make sense in the online environment? Would other models be appropriate?


20. The Internet is currently based on the principle of "network neutrality", with all data moving around the system treated equally. One of the ideas being floated is that network operators should be allowed to offer preferential, high-quality services to some service providers instead of providing a neutral service. What is your position on this issue?

Piracy and unauthorised uploading and downloading of copyright protected works

21. To what extent does your business model suffer from piracy (physical and/or online)? What kinds of action to curb piracy are taken in your sector/field of activity and in the country or countries you operate in? Do you consider unauthorised uploading and downloading to be equally damaging? Should a distinction be made as regards the fight against pirates between "small" and "big" ones?

22. To what extent do education and awareness-raising campaigns concerning respect for copyright contribute to limiting piracy in the country or countries you operate in? Do you have specific proposals in this respect?

23. Could peer-to-peer technologies be used in such a way that the owners of copyrighted material are adequately protected in your field of activity and in the country or countries you operate in? Does peer-to-peer file sharing (also of uncopyrighted material) reveal new business models? If so, please describe them?

Rating or classification

24. Is rating or classification of content an issue for your business? Do the different national practices concerning classification cause any problem for the free movement of creative services? How is classification ensured in your business (self-regulation, co-regulation)?

Digital Rights Management systems (DRMs)

25. Do you use Digital Rights Management systems (DRMs) or intend to do so? If you do not use any, why not? Do you consider DRMs an appropriate means to manage and secure the distribution of copyrighted material in the online environment?

26. Do you have access to robust DRM systems providing what you consider to be an appropriate level of protection? If not, what is the reason for that? What are the consequences for you of not having access to a robust DRM system?

27. In the sector and in the country or countries you operate in, are DRMs widely used? Are these systems sufficiently transparent to creators and consumers? Are the systems used user-friendly?

28. Do you use copy protection measures? To what extent is such copy protection accepted by others in the sector and in the country or countries you operate in?

29. Are there any other issues concerning DRMs you would like to raise, such as governance, trust models and compliance, interoperability?

Complementing commercial offers with non-commercial services

30. In which way can non-commercial services, such as opening archives online (public/private partnerships) complement commercial offers to consumers in the sector you operate in?

What role for equipment and software manufacturers?

31. How could European equipment and software manufacturers take full advantage of the creation and distribution of creative content and services online (devices, DRMs, etc.)?

What role for public authorities?

32. What could be the role of national governments / regional entities to foster new business models in the online environment (broadband deployment, inclusion, etc.)?

33. What actions (policy, support measures, research projects) could be taken at EU level to address the specific issues you raised? Do you have concrete proposals in this respect?