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    June 2015: EU strategy for the digital single market – Part III

    In this, the third and final part of our mini-series on the EU strategy for the digital single market, we’ll be taking a closer look at the changes proposed to copyright law. There has now been time for those affected to comment on the topics that have made it onto the Commission’s agenda, and in this episode, we take a particular interest in how the issue of fair remuneration for authors and creatives is developing.

    As we reported in our update last month, on 6th May 2015, the European Commission published its strategy for the digital internal market. An important part of this strategy is modernising the various European copyright laws as there is no common European legislation in this area.


    Günther Oettinger, the Commissioner for the Single Market, has the brief to implement the strategy and has stated his intention to present a preliminary package of legislation by the end of 2015; the measures expected will most likely be formulated as changes to the current EU directives on copyright. On 1st June 2015, Vice President Andrus Ansip – to whom Günther Oettinger reports within the Commission hierarchy – quite tellingly criticised the current EU copyright situation as “a mess” which was, he continued, in dire need of a swift overhaul in order to meet today’s demands.


    That is clearly an exaggeration; after all, the Commission itself has only identified genuinely urgent need for action in the following areas:
    •    the ability to access content and services legally acquired in one country from another;
    •    cross-border access to legal online services;
    •    harmonised regulation on barriers to the educational and academic use of works;
    •    clarifying the extent to which internet platforms are responsible for protecting material under copyright.


    Furthermore, improvements to the ease with which rights to immaterial goods – i.e. including copyright – can be enforced have been announced for the coming year, and the Commission intends to concentrate on commercial providers acting illegally. On 9th June 2015, the European Parliament passed a resolution in which the hand of Pavel Svoboda from the legal committee, a former legal adviser to the Czech OSA collecting society, was clearly legible. The motion welcomes the Commission’s approach to cutting off illicit portals’ access to revenue (e.g. from advertising), but also demands easier routes to enforcing the removal of content used illegally by court order.


    Cross-border access to legally acquired contents and services
    The aim of this initiative is above all to make it possible for consumers to access online services for which they have already paid while they are abroad. By way of example, anyone having paid for a video-on-demand (VOD) service in Germany should also be able to use it while on holiday in France.
    Back in 2013, however, at an industry meeting on copyright, service providers were already saying that it was not copyright which was an impediment to cross-border access, but that this had thus far not been a matter of concern because of the lack of interest among consumers in the issue. Since then, the industry seems to have recognised personal access to services regardless of the consumer’s actual location as a way of making their offering more attractive and a number of providers are working on products in this area. The question now is therefore whether there is any need for legislators to take action in this matter at all.

    Cross-border access to legal online services
    The point at issue here is whether consumers can actually access online services from other countries. Germans, for example, should have the option of subscribing to a French VOD service; at present, however, this kind of transaction is not always possible – partly due to the business models of the service providers, who are hoping to apply different price models to various markets. In some cases, however, the service providers are forced to apply territorial constraints to their offering by rightholders looking to market their works in each country separately; in the latter case, the rightholders apply territorial constraints to the licences they grant.

    It is precisely this method of marketing utilisation rights by territory which is the foundation of how European film producers generate income – and the Commission has heard this argument. The aim is now to continue to guarantee cross-border access to online services using appropriate legislative means, but there will be exemptions for sports, television, and film. That, at least, is how Commissioner Oettinger explained things recently at the festival in Cannes.
    The Commission’s digital strategy does, however, mention another approach brought into play by the European public service broadcasters: this would consist in applying the system set up by the Satellite and Cable Directive to internet services. This directive is based on the assumption that satellite broadcasts only take place in one country, meaning that licences for broadcasting rights need only be acquired for the country from which the satellite uplinks, and if the Commission were to apply this principle to the broadcasters’ internet services, the broadcasters would only have to acquire the online rights for one country in order to offer programmes across Europe.
    The disadvantages which would result from this proposal will be discussed over the summer by a working group composed of film industry associations. The plan is to provide the Commission this autumn with suggestions for alternatives which would still guarantee the broadest possible accessibility for films, but without putting the principle of per-territory licencing into question.

    Harmonised regulations on barriers in education and academia
    Due to the fact that academics especially work in international networks, the Commission is aiming to create a standard regulatory framework for the whole of Europe for legally permitted forms of use; it mentions regulatory barriers for libraries and archives, for educational institutions, and for the use of databases.
    The German government, too, is looking to take action in this area of legislation. The Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection has the standardisation of barriers to academic use on its agenda, but given the large number of barriers already in place in German copyright law, it remains to be seen whether it will be sufficient to simply apply a systematic approach to existing regulations, or whether they will need to be extended.
    What is crucial is that no new barriers are put in place without remuneration for rightholders; and we know from our discussions with Germany’s representatives to the European Commission that the Federal Government shares this view.
    Internet platforms’ responsibilities
    Do you remember the dispute between the GEMA collecting society and YouTube? Well, it still hasn’t been settled. The core of the issue is that YouTube refuses to accept responsibility for content uploaded by consumers; GEMA, says YouTube, should rather approach those who upload content to the platform. Of course, this essentially means doing without revenue. YouTube’s legal position is anchored in what is known as the “safe harbour” regulation in the E-Commerce Directive by which service providers are only liable for their own content. When the directive was produced 15 years ago, it was written with the telecommunications companies in mind so that they would not have to take on responsibility for material being sent through their data networks; the idea that platforms would not themselves post content, but leave their users to upload it, had not yet been had.
    Yet, of course, companies such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and all the other social media platforms draw a not inconsiderable benefit from attractive, copyrighted material which is posted to their networks; and that is why the music sector, which is affected to the greatest extent, has mounted a huge lobbying effort in Brussels to get this issue on the Commission’s agenda for reform – and we are involved in these activities through our umbrella organisation, CISAC.


    And what about fair remuneration for copyright holders?
    Whether on a national level or in Brussels, in the current debate about modernising copyright legislation, it is the done thing to stress how important fair remuneration is – not just for authors and creatives, but also for singers and actors. The Commission’s digital strategy, too, states that action is necessary to make sure that there are still incentives in the future to create new works.
    Unfortunately, however, such initiatives often end as mere statements of intent; and indeed, the Commission’s strategy paper does not contain any concrete proposals on how the aim of achieving fair remuneration might be reached. The accompanying paper limits itself to pointing out that there are highly varied national regulations in this area, which leads in turn to an increased administrative workload for service providers operating on a cross-border basis. A cynic might suspect that a European legislative framework for copyright contract law only has any real chance of being implemented if a few multinational conglomerates start asking for things to be simplified…
    Officially, the European Commission wants to wait for two studies on authors’ incomes to be published before going further; yet these studies seem to have been perfunctory exercises at best – indeed, in its economic section the study of the status quo in the music and film sectors has apparently failed to produce any hard-and-fast results. We at Bild-Kunst have actually witnessed just how lacklustre the Commission’s efforts have been: when members of professional group II were invited via a special newsletter on 8th June to take part in the corresponding online survey, the research company’s server promptly crashed; we also received countless e-mails complaining about how poorly structured the survey was.
    We therefore do not expect to see real momentum coming into the issue of fair remuneration any time soon. As such, the only course of action available to us is to hold all of those caught mouthing platitudes to their words – and to continue to demand that these words must contain more than empty promises.

    May 2015: EU strategy for the digital single market – Part II

    One month ago, we reported here on the European Commission’s preliminary guidelines for creating a single market for digital services: the Commission has since presented its overall strategy, and due to the fact that this approach will be with us for the coming years – and also affects the modernisation of copyright law – it is worth taking a closer look at the details relating to the creative sector.

    In the overview, promises of a very general nature are made to the creative sector relating to improvements such as an expanded European audience, a more effective set of tools to combat piracy, a better environment for legal services, and a fairer system of remuneration from which everyone in the value chain will benefit. If these goals seem somewhat nebulous, the overview plunges into an impenetrable fog when it starts daydreaming about how cultural diversity, creativity, and a free exchange of ideas can be encouraged, or hoping that clearer rules for everyone involved in creative production will be implemented… After all, who wouldn’t want that?

    Leaving this quibble aside, however, let’s examine more closely the three pillars on which the Commission is building its strategy:
    (1.)    improved access for consumers and businesses across Europe to digital goods and services;
    (2.)    creating up-to-date frameworks for digital networks; and – of course –
    (3.)    maximising growth potential for the digital economy.

    Reforming copyright is a key building block of the first pillar, and is therefore approached from the point of view of those using works. In the strategy, the Commission points out that the Information Society Directive dates from 2001 and must therefore be updated to include innovations, changes in consumer behaviour, and new market conditions. The Directorate General with responsibility for the single market has scheduled a new blueprint for November 2015.

    When the changes announced are analysed in more detail, it becomes evident that Commissioner Günther Oettinger is not deviating from European Union strategies on copyright to date and envisions small, realistic steps forward: this means that the radical “free internet” revolution which many creatives have feared in recent years will not be taking place; there will also not be EU-wide harmonised copyright legislation (Oettinger had hinted at this in preceding discussions). The reason for this is that, in addition to its economic function, copyright has a cultural dimension which EU member states do not want to relinquish control of: while continental nations are proud of the droit d’auteur principle which focusses on the creator, Britain’s copyright system places the emphasis on the work as a product to be traded; no harmonisation can be achieved unless one side is willing to renounce its identity.

    Rather than reinventing copyright law, the existing legislative framework is to be developed further. The fact that going down this route may also lead – albeit more slowly – to a harmonisation of European copyright laws is frequently demonstrated by jurisdiction, as almost no legal proceedings relating to fundamental copyright issues can take place without referring the case to the European Court of Justice, whose judgements must then be followed across Europe.
    The Commission has no lesser intention than to modernise all of the relevant directives:

    Information Society Directive (2001)
    At present, this directive contains a conclusive but largely optional catalogue of areas in which member states have the ability – but not the obligation – to curtail copyright. This catalogue is to be harmonised for the educational and academic areas with a view to creating a secure legal footing for international research. The collecting societies will champion the principle that no curtailments of copyright may be implemented without a corresponding regulation for remuneration. A positive note for rightholders is that regulations relating to private copies and the corresponding levies on copying and data storage devices are not explicitly mentioned: whether Commissioner Oettinger is avoiding this particular area as a hot potato, or whether he is actually convinced of the utility of the system, remains unclear; but what is important is that we are now finally heading back into calmer waters on this issue.

    Directive on Services (2006)
    One of the Commission’s key goals in the upcoming reform is to remove all forms of unjustified geo-blocking. Consumers should be able to access digital services across Europe, regardless of their place of residence of where they are currently located. This issue may have some effects on business models which make use of works protected by copyright (e.g. consumers might want to subscribe to a British music streaming service, or use their domestic music streaming service while on holiday), but need not necessarily (if, for example, a consumer wants to rent a car on holiday directly via a portal in the destination country, rather than being redirected through the more expensive domestic portal). A legal way around this would be to introduce a conclusive set of cases in which geo-blocking is allowed.

    The Commission recognises current film licencing practice, meaning that it will remain possible to limit individual country licences on a territorial basis in order to exploit possibilities for re-financing to the greatest possible extent. This means that the frightening prospect of it only being possible to license rights once on a pan-European basis has been banished. Whether geo-blocking will still be possible, remains to be seen: in one passage of its communication, the Commission explains that blocking films between countries is a justified measure; yet in another passage, the Commission insists that consumers must be given access to the contents of any video-on-demand services they pay for across Europe. If the latter is the case, then the effects will most likely only extend to streaming services as rights of reproduction would have to be acquired at any event in the consumer’s country in case of downloads there.

    Satellite and Cable Directive (1993)
    From a very early point, the Satellite and Cable Directive made clear that, in the case of satellite transmission, rights are only considered to be used in the country in which the uplink to the satellite is located; the Commission wants to check whether this limitation of rights-use to the country from which broadcast takes place can also be applied to certain online services run by broadcasting companies (an affirmative response would be in their favour). If taken to its logical conclusion and combined with bans on geo-blocking, such a limitation of rights use (country-of-origin principle for all online services) would once again represent a considerable intrusion into the licensing of film rights on a territorial basis.

    E-Commerce Directive (2000)
    The Commission is planning a study into the role of all online platforms, regardless of whether they are search engines, social media sites, or commerce applications (i.e. Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). Although data protection and competition law issues will be at the core of this initiative, the Commission does also mention “relations between the creative sector and digital platforms” and asks whether the level of the platforms’ duty of care in removing illegally uploaded content needs to be increased. The Commission points out that online platforms have grown to a considerable size in the space created by the safe-harbour regulations of the E-Commerce Directive, which by and large free them from responsibility for illegal material uploaded by their customers; and while the Commission also recognises how difficult it can be to have illegal content removed (if indeed it can be removed at all), it does not plan any hard-and-fast legislative steps and will be relying on a collection of international best practices. The best that can be said is that this issue is now on the agenda.

    Conclusion
    On the whole, the Commission’s digital strategy seems to be an entirely feasible project. It introduces a wealth of minor modifications to existing regulations with the aim of bringing the whole ship back on course. In the analysis accompanying the strategy paper, there is even talk of fair remuneration for creators and performing artists; the Commission writes that it is working on two studies and will decide on whether action needs to be taken on the basis of the results. This is where we will apply pressure and call for specific improvements.

    April 2015: EU strategy for the digital single market

    One month ago, the European Commission presented the preliminary guidelines for its strategy to create a single market for digital services; and while in many areas, its ideas seem well-formed and easy to understand, in terms of changes to copyright law, they remain vague. We will therefore need to wait until the Commission has published its finalised digital strategy in May to see whether there are convincing responses on the issue of reforming copyright. Time is of the essence.

    The European Commission press release of 25th March 2015 opens by stating that – although digital technologies are now a key element of our everyday lives – all too often, they remain hemmed in by national borders. Vice President Andrus Ansip, who ranks above Commissioner Günther Oettinger and has the Digital Agenda portfolio, has been especially prominent and consistent in calling for the removal of all boundaries blocking exchange on the internet.

    Indeed, the Commission was able to identify a range of genuine barriers which most European merchants and consumers will want to see removed.

    Cross-border e-commerce, for example, is currently limited by differing, and therefore intransparent, national provisions in contract and consumer protection law; very few consumers are willing to risk making purchases in neighbouring countries due to uncertainty in how to proceed if the products are damaged on delivery – or not delivered at all.
    Another everyday annoyance, and one that is frequently a deal-breaker, are shipping costs for cross-border deliveries, which are often very high.
    For businesses, the complexity of foreign tax legislation – especially VAT – is a serious issue which results in costs that are estimated at around 80 billion Euros annually.
    Fast internet connections are essential for digital services of all kinds, yet only 25% of EU citizens can access the latest and fastest technology (in the US, this option is open to 90% of the population).
    Trust in online platforms (search engines, social media, app stores) is low: 72% of EU citizens are – quite rightly, in our opinion – concerned about how their personal data will be used. Current data protection laws are not joined-up and US companies are often able to circumnavigate them.
    Businesses would benefit from harmonised standards for new technologies, which would allow them to make profitable use of innovations more rapidly.
    While Big Data (collecting, evaluating, and storing large amounts of data in the cloud) may well help the economy move forward, there is currently a lack of reliable frameworks for this kind of initiative.

    Besides geo-blocking of music and films, which issues has the Commission identified in relation to copyright? The press release of 25th March contains the following announcement:

    "Modernising copyright law to ensure the right balance between the interests of creators and those of users or consumers. It will improve people's access to culture – and therefore support cultural diversity – while opening new opportunities for artists and content creators and ensuring a better enforcement of their rights."

    It will be very interesting indeed to see what kind of strategy the Commission presents with regards to copyright in May.


    February 2015: Oettinger meets authors and artists at the Berlinale

    This year’s Berlinale saw a discussion initiated by Frank Zeidler, the chairman of the German Association of Artists, and Jochen Greve, chairman of the German Television Academy, between authors and the EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger about the Commission’s plans to reform copyright. Held on 9th February in the Academy of Arts on Pariser Platz, the talk was staged by the two associations (Deutscher Künstlerbund, Deutsche Akademie für Fernsehen) and the VGBild-Kunst and VGWort collecting societies; it was organised by the Initiative Urheberrecht, a collective for copyright which placed appropriate remuneration for authors and artists at the centre of the debate.

    After a few words of welcome from Klaus Staeck, the President of the Academy of Arts, Jochen Greve got the discussion started with a pithy remark: "Creativity is the oil of the 21st century!" Fred Breinersdorfer, whose film Elser was premiered at the Berlinale, talked about his daughter as an example of how difficult it can be even for renowned artists and authors to live from their work. In order to be fit for purpose, European copyright would, he continued, have to be adjusted to conform not just to the demands of modern digital distribution, but actually deal with the question of how it could secure its primary aim: assuring those behind creative works enough money to live on in the digital age.

    Commissioner Oettinger began by outlining the framework within which he works with regard to copyright. He explained that, before going any further, he wanted to check which questions need to be solved on a national and which on a European level; Brussels would, he added, respect the principle of subsidiarity. In terms of his timetable, he indicated that his Directorate-General would present a draft bill early this summer, and that he would be open to hearing the positions of all stakeholders up until that point. He stressed that he did not have any personal stake in the issue of copyright, and appealed unambiguously to authors and artists to formulate cross-border common positions wherever possible to make sure that their voices are heard.

    Discussion then turned to a range of issues around remuneration. Screenwriter and director Caroline Otto spoke in favour of the EU Commission looking at copyright in contract law; jazz legend and composer Klaus Doldinger pointed out to Mr. Oettinger that many internet plat-forms are still in a position to claim current legal privileges to refuse payment for using works on their websites. Screenwriter Jochen Greve demanded a stronger role for collecting societies and stressed their low administration costs of under 10%.

    Urban Pappi and Robert Staats, members of the management boards of the VG Bild-Kunst and VG Wort collecting societies informed Mr Oettinger that, in contrast to the music rights society GEMA, their organisations were still not able to administer primary rights in the area of film. They called on Brussels to make this possible through suitable legal provisions, citing positive examples for France, Italy, and Spain.

    Gerd Pfennig, the Initiative Urheberrecht spokesperson, summarised the demands of authors by asking European legislators to remember the tradition of droit d’auteur and to improve remuneration structures to the benefit of those creating the works.

    Commissioner Oettinger made it clear that the arguments had not fallen on deaf ears, and indicated that he would be prepared to go into more detail on the measures demanded in subsequent talks. After the discussion, the authors and artists present were in agreement that they had laid a solid foundation for further conversations on the issues at stake.

    January 2015: The End of Copyright Reform Backlog

    Adapting copyright to the requirements of the digital age has been a European topic of debate both on the national level and in Brussels for several years. From a German standpoint, 2015 might finally herald progress on clearing the current reform backlog. Both the German Federal Government and the European Commission took to the starting blocks in 2014. What awaits us in the almost 12 months to come?

    In Europe, copyright falls as a matter of principle under the responsibilities of the individual nations, while Brussels can regulate aspects that make it easier for the Internal Market to function. Over the course of time, this has steadily expanded of the scope of copyright directives. In one public survey on the topic, the Commission even asked about the pros and cons of a uniform European copyright law. However, the idea of bidding farewell to the current German Copyright Act in 2015, the year of its 50th anniversary, will remain an intellectual pastime. Speaking as a guest before the Bundestag Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection on 14 January, Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner responsible for copyright issues (Digital Economy and Society) explained what we should expect. We will see a blend of directly applicable EU regulations and the familiar directives, which are to be implemented into national law with a certain amount of leeway.

    Germany
    This does not mean that the German Federal Government no longer needs to act on copyright. In the second half of 2014, Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas approached stakeholders with a four-point plan. Its common thread can be paraphrased as "evolution instead of revolution". The fifty-year-old German Copyright Act should be repaired and carefully improved, nothing more. Perhaps this is the lesson to be drawn from the ideological debates that took place at the beginning of the decade: We cannot make any major changes without alienating at least one important interest group. The United Kingdom took a more technical approach. The Cameron government ordered a comprehensive analysis of the country's intellectual property right in 2010 and one year later received a report with 10 recommendations named after its chief expert, Professor Hargreaves. This report served as a basis for modernising British copyright in 2014.

    What are the details of the Justice Minister’s four-point plan?
    Implementation of the Directive on Collecting Societies

    This topic is a mandatory component of the reform, as the EU directive adopted in February 2014 must be implemented in German law by April 2016. The competitiveness of German collecting societies is at stake. In the long term, they have to prove themselves in European competition for settlement services.

    VG Bild-Kunst's central demand for Berlin is to allow only collecting societies registered in Germany to manage statutory royalty claims. There is otherwise a danger that a vast multitude of foreign societies will help themselves to the royalty claims provided in Germany without being subject to the strict oversight of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Moreover, it would no longer be clear which collecting societies are entitled to claim royalties. In the medium term, such a chaotic situation could bring an end to the royalty claims system in favour of the Anglo-American system of pure initial rights licensing, and this would increase authors’ dependence on the users (publishing houses, labels, producers).

    Improving the Private Copy Remuneration System
    The fixed remuneration system for devices and storage media in Germany was fundamentally changed in early 2008. Until 2007, fees were set by law, but now they should be negotiated between collecting societies and the industry. Unfortunately, legislator expectations have not materialised when it comes to the functionality of the new system. This is especially due to the fact that the industry has no great interest in negotiating results. The average lawsuit lasts 12 years, which means companies have an incentive to push payments into the future in order to improve the results of the current year. Naturally, provisions should actually be made for this, but there is considerable room to manoeuvre. This leaves right holders with a problem. They often have to do without "fair compensation" for private copies for long periods of time, while financing lawsuits in advance (with what money actually?). They can do little after a ruling to control the information provided by companies on sales figures, and they alone bear the risk of insolvency.

    German collecting societies are demanding that the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) accelerate the conflict resolution process and introduce a deposit obligation for royalty claims. The latter does more than simply safeguard claims. The companies’ outflow of funds automatically increases their willingness to conduct sincere negotiations.

    Strengthening Copyright Contract Law
    Bild-Kunst naturally advocates the interests of creators of works and therefore a functioning copyright contract law. Since the organisation also represents publishers and documentary film producers, it takes no sides in discussions on details and makes no demands of the BMJV. This is a matter for the professional associations of authors on one side and the associations of users on the other.

    From the authors' standpoint, the 2002 reform is especially lacking when it comes to enforcement of claims. It is understandable that very few freelancers can afford to sue their employers when they find their contract conditions inequitable. Doing that will ensure that the order goes to another colleague the next time (and the time after that). With this in mind, the professional associations and unions are demanding for themselves the right to initiate proceedings, in order to reduce the necessity of individual litigation.

    Uniform Limitation for Education and Science
    In its coalition agreement (which it is executing with utmost care as we know), the coalition government spoke out in favour of introducing a uniform limitation for education and science to the German Copyright Act (UrhG). Privileges for schools and universities are currently covered by a broad range of individual regulations (§§ 46, 47, 52a, 52b, 53 and 53a of the UrhG), which pertain strictly to narrowly defined circumstances. However, the BMJV will not be able to establish a general limit without further ado, in order to create the most possible freedom in just a few words. Copyright cannot be simply brushed aside, even for education and science. The overriding standards of the German Constitution and European law must be observed, and it must be ensured that right holders receive appropriate compensation for any possible restrictions to their rights.

    Bild-Kunst expects a legal policy discussion on this topic but does welcome the intermediate step taken in November 2014 of removing the time limitation from § 52a of the UrhG (Intranet limit). This makes it possible for VG Bild-Kunst to continue its general agreement with the Federal States.

    Europe
    Commission President Juncker granted the creation of a borderless European internal market for digital products great importance among his priorities for the next five years. "We can ensure that consumers can access music, movies and sports events on their electronic devices wherever they are in Europe and regardless of borders."

    The Commission's 2015 work programme (presented mid-December 2014) already contains a package for the digital internal market which includes the objective of modernising EU copyright legislation. In this work programme, the Commission also commits to making legislative proposals on the topics mentioned. Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced such a proposal to be presented in the fall of 2015. However, its fundamental pillars will become known in May with the presentation of the strategy for the digital internal market.

    In light of the tight schedule, comprehensive reform of European copyright law is not to be expected. Moreover, there is every indication that the Commission will limit itself to the topic repeated like a mantra by its representatives: the elimination of digital territoriality. A few copyright limitations in the InfoSoc Directive might also be revised, but it is difficult to imagine that the minefield of private copies will be tackled in 2015. Similarly, we can expect little in the way of improvement of statutory regulations covering copyright remuneration. At the same time, the Commission did order several studies on this topic, and their results are expected to be released in the spring of 2015.

    Outlook
    The reform backlog will finally be tackled in 2015. The repair measures considered urgent by policymakers will be introduced first. Bild-Kunst could benefit from an improvement of the private copy regime in Germany.

    However, that is not the end of reform efforts. Additional legislative steps are to be expected at European level starting in 2016. They may affect private copying, which does represent a danger, but could improve the financial situation of right holders. That is what we at Bild-Kunst and others are striving to achieve.