Promotie: Copyright in the Age of Online Access

PhD Defence: João Pedro Quintais, Copyright in the Age of Online Access – Alternative Compensation Systems in EU Copyright Law

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (CET)

Venue: University of Amsterdam, Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229-231, 1012 EX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dissertation Abstract

The large majority of the EU population uses the Internet. For many individuals, their online acts of enjoyment and expression are restricted by copyright. For users and rights holders alike, the existing model of exclusivity with enforcement is problematic. Online enforcement is either impossible (de facto or due to high transaction costs) or undesirable, as it risks encroaching upon fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and intermediaries. Criminalisation and strict enforcement alienate end-users (with file-sharers being among the best clients of the content industries) and diminish the respect for, and legitimacy of, copyright law. Furthermore, emerging online business models, like streaming platforms, despite generating significant rights revenue, fail to provide fair remuneration to creators or capture the market for mass-scale non-commercial use.

To address these problems, the present dissertation examines reform proposals that focus on models of remunerated access to copyright works in the online environment. These models are defined under the umbrella term “alternative compensation systems” or “ACS”. In simple terms, ACS replace the need for direct authorisation for the online use of works by individuals (e.g. downloading and uploading) resulting from the application of exclusive rights, with a licensing scheme authorising such use and ensuring remuneration to rights holders or at least creators.

This dissertation examines to what extent ACS for non-commercial online use of works by individuals are admissible under EU copyright law and consistent with its objectives. It further examines how can and should EU copyright law incorporate an ACS.

The research for this dissertation is part of the NWO-funded project Copyright in an Age of Access: Alternatives to Copyright Enforcement