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Streaming av film och serier inom EU - och möjligheterna att territoriellt begränsa licensavtalet

Nord, Anna LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den senaste tidens teknikutveckling har gjort det möjligt för personer att streama film och serier på begäran. Flera tjänsteföretag såsom Netflix, HBO Nordic och Viaplay erbjuder sina tjänster mot en månatlig avgift. Däremot är tjänsterna sällan tillgängliga när en abonnent beger sig till en annan medlemsstat inom EU. Det är också sällan möjligt för en konsument att se en film eller serie som ett tjänsteföretag har tillgängliggjort i ett annat medlemsland.

Upphovsrätten i EU bygger på en territorialitetsprincip, vilken innebär att det upphovsrättsliga skyddet upprätthålls på nationell nivå. I kombination med att sändningsrättigheter inte konsumeras på samma sätt som en fysisk vara inom EU, kan rättighetsinnehavare licensiera... (More)
Den senaste tidens teknikutveckling har gjort det möjligt för personer att streama film och serier på begäran. Flera tjänsteföretag såsom Netflix, HBO Nordic och Viaplay erbjuder sina tjänster mot en månatlig avgift. Däremot är tjänsterna sällan tillgängliga när en abonnent beger sig till en annan medlemsstat inom EU. Det är också sällan möjligt för en konsument att se en film eller serie som ett tjänsteföretag har tillgängliggjort i ett annat medlemsland.

Upphovsrätten i EU bygger på en territorialitetsprincip, vilken innebär att det upphovsrättsliga skyddet upprätthålls på nationell nivå. I kombination med att sändningsrättigheter inte konsumeras på samma sätt som en fysisk vara inom EU, kan rättighetsinnehavare licensiera sändningsrättigheter på territoriell nivå. Därför måste en tjänsteleverantör som Netflix få de relevanta rättigheterna i varje territorium de avser att visa sina filmer i. Uppsatsens syfte är att utreda om sändningsrättigheter för film och serier som visas på begäran kan tänkas dela upp den inre marknaden på ett sådant sätt som står i strid med reglerna om den inre marknaden och EU:s konkurrensrättsregler. För att uppnå syftet med uppsatsen används en rättsdogmatisk metod i kombination med en EU-rättslig metod. Metoden strävar efter att rekonstruera gällande rätt med EU-källor.

I uppsatsen konstateras att sändningsrättigheter ofta licensieras på nationell basis, ibland såsom en exklusiv rättighet vilket innebär att ingen annan i territoriet kan få samma rättighet. I samband med att exklusiviteten ska upprätthållas föreskrivs ofta att licenstagaren ska använda sig av geoblockeringar. På så sätt blockeras filmerna för personer utanför det licensierade territoriet och marknaden kan anses uppdelad. Enligt EU-domstolens praxis innebär inte ett exklusivt licensavtal innehållande sändningsrättigheter i sig att artikel 101 FEUF aktualiseras. Däremot kan utövandet av avtalet innebära att artikel 101 FEUF tillämpas.

Än så länge har EU-domstolen inte avgjort något fall där de har behövt ta ställning till exklusiva licensavtal gällande sändningsrättigheter av film som innehåller klausuler om geoblockeringar. I vilken utsträckning Premier Leage-målet kan få relevans samt om hänsyn kommer att tas till filmindustrins särskilda karaktär, likt i målet Coditel II, återstår att se. Det förefaller dock klart att kommissionens uppfattning är att licensavtal mellan rättighetsinnehavaren av en sändningsrättighet av film och en tjänsteleverantör som ger någon av parterna ett absolut territoriellt områdesskydd står i strid med artikel 101 FEUF. (Less)
Abstract
It is common to stream movies and films over the Internet through on-demand-services and it is anticipated that the demand for such services will increase. Even if the The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons, the cross-border portability of films and series are limited. A consumer can rarely access the content outside his or her home country. Neither can a person located in his home country access movies or series from a service provider in another country. The sector inquiry shows that it is common that license agreements for movies and series are licensed on an exclusive basis, containing technical measures such as geo-blocking. Thus, the current situation... (More)
It is common to stream movies and films over the Internet through on-demand-services and it is anticipated that the demand for such services will increase. Even if the The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons, the cross-border portability of films and series are limited. A consumer can rarely access the content outside his or her home country. Neither can a person located in his home country access movies or series from a service provider in another country. The sector inquiry shows that it is common that license agreements for movies and series are licensed on an exclusive basis, containing technical measures such as geo-blocking. Thus, the current situation can be said to result in a fragmentation of the internal market. The Commission has addressed these issues in its strategy for a Digital Single Market (DSM).

This paper seeks to identify if and how parties to a licensing agreement can be said to divide the internal market in a way that is inconsistent with the rules of free movement and competition law, when licensing on an exclusive basis and using technical measures such as geoblocking. The paper is limited to licensing agreements on movies and series. To answer this question, the methodology used is a combination of the legal dogmatic method and EU-method, using sources, such as case law from The European Court of Justice (ECJ), The Treaties of the European Union, laws, regulations and doctrines.

The principles of copyright taken together with the fact that copyright within the EU is regulated on the basis of the territoriality principle, enables right holder to license on a country-by-country basis. Under one of the few EU directives on copyright it is explicitly prescribed that the right holder has an exclusive right to communicate and to make a work available to the public. This is also the right that needs to be licensed by the licensee to be able to show films and movies to its customer.

The ECJ has found that an exclusive license agreement does not necessarily restrict the competition within the EU. However, if the agreement gives one of the parties an absolute territorial protection, the agreement is said to have an anti-competitive object, which is prohibited under article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The ECJ has not yet ruled a case including an exclusive license agreement on the right to make a work available including geo-blocking, why the question of license agreements is uncertain until further notice. However, the commission is at the moment investigating license agreements between film studios and broadcasting companies in Europe. It is clear that the Commission is of the opinion that an agreement, containing an exclusive right in combination with geo-blocking, is restricting the competition within the union in a way that is unlawful under article 101 TFEU. (Less)
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author
Nord, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
To stream movies and series over the internet and the possibility to license on an exclusive basis
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
immaterialrätt, EU-rätt
language
Swedish
id
8909042
date added to LUP
2017-06-15 18:17:32
date last changed
2017-06-15 18:17:32
@misc{8909042,
  abstract     = {It is common to stream movies and films over the Internet through on-demand-services and it is anticipated that the demand for such services will increase. Even if the The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons, the cross-border portability of films and series are limited. A consumer can rarely access the content outside his or her home country. Neither can a person located in his home country access movies or series from a service provider in another country. The sector inquiry shows that it is common that license agreements for movies and series are licensed on an exclusive basis, containing technical measures such as geo-blocking. Thus, the current situation can be said to result in a fragmentation of the internal market. The Commission has addressed these issues in its strategy for a Digital Single Market (DSM).

This paper seeks to identify if and how parties to a licensing agreement can be said to divide the internal market in a way that is inconsistent with the rules of free movement and competition law, when licensing on an exclusive basis and using technical measures such as geoblocking. The paper is limited to licensing agreements on movies and series. To answer this question, the methodology used is a combination of the legal dogmatic method and EU-method, using sources, such as case law from The European Court of Justice (ECJ), The Treaties of the European Union, laws, regulations and doctrines.

The principles of copyright taken together with the fact that copyright within the EU is regulated on the basis of the territoriality principle, enables right holder to license on a country-by-country basis. Under one of the few EU directives on copyright it is explicitly prescribed that the right holder has an exclusive right to communicate and to make a work available to the public. This is also the right that needs to be licensed by the licensee to be able to show films and movies to its customer. 

The ECJ has found that an exclusive license agreement does not necessarily restrict the competition within the EU. However, if the agreement gives one of the parties an absolute territorial protection, the agreement is said to have an anti-competitive object, which is prohibited under article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The ECJ has not yet ruled a case including an exclusive license agreement on the right to make a work available including geo-blocking, why the question of license agreements is uncertain until further notice. However, the commission is at the moment investigating license agreements between film studios and broadcasting companies in Europe. It is clear that the Commission is of the opinion that an agreement, containing an exclusive right in combination with geo-blocking, is restricting the competition within the union in a way that is unlawful under article 101 TFEU.},
  author       = {Nord, Anna},
  keyword      = {immaterialrätt,EU-rätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Streaming av film och serier inom EU - och möjligheterna att territoriellt begränsa licensavtalet},
  year         = {2017},
}