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Copyright 14.02.2019    Pdf    Appunta    Letti    Post successivo  

Copyright: la riforma europea e' in linea di arrivo, vincono gli editori

Dossier dei comunicati dalla Commissione (sembra che l'accordo sia al di fuori degli strumenti istituzionali)

 

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Indice

  • What is the new Copyright Directive abou
  • How will the new directive support the p
  • Does the new press publishers' right als
  • Does the new press publishers' right aff
  • How will the new rules tackle the so-cal
  • What will be the special regime for smal
  • How does the Directive ensure a fair rem
  •  
  • What are the exceptions to copyright rul
  •  
  • How will the directive facilitate the ac
  • Text and data mining
  •  educational establishments and tea
  • Preservation exception
  • What is the new provision on public doma
  • What is the provision of the Out-of-comm
  • Out-of-commerce works: 
  • What is the new provision on collective
  • What is the negotiation mechanism for vi
  • Ansip
  • Gabriel
  • Better protection for European authors a
  • New rules to reinforce the interests of
  • Next Steps
  • Background
  • More information
  • Ansip
  • Bieńkowska
  • Gabriel
  • Small businesses will particularly benef
  • A ban on certain unfair practices
  • No more sudden, unexplained account susp
  • Plain and intelligible terms and advance
  • Greater transparency in online platforms
  • Transparent ranking
  • Mandatory disclosure for a range of busi
  • New avenues for dispute resolution.
  • Complaint-handling
  • Mediators
  • Enforcement
  • Next Steps
  • Background
  • For more information
  • Ansip
  • Bieńkowska
  • Gabriel
  • Small businesses will particularly benef
  • A ban on certain unfair practices
  • No more sudden, unexplained account susp
  • Plain and intelligible terms and advance
  • Greater transparency in online platforms
  • Transparent ranking
  • Mandatory disclosure for a range of busi
  • New avenues for dispute resolution.
  • Complaint-handling
  • Mediators
  • Enforcement
  • Next Steps
  • Background
  • For more information
D

Da:

  • https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-528_en.htm
  • https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-19-1151_en.htm
  • https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/factsheet-copyright
  • https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/eu-negotiators-reach-breakthrough-modernise-copyright-rules

European Commission - Fact Sheet

Questions & Answers: EU negotiators reach a breakthrough to modernise copyright rules

Brussels, 13 February 2019

*

What is the new Copyright Directive about?

The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission reached a political agreement on a new Copyright Directive that will require final approval by both Institutions in the coming weeks.

Digital technologies have transformed the way creative content is produced, distributed and accessed. The new Directive brings the copyright rules up to date with those changes and the way users access content online. For example, copyright exceptions exist in the areas of education, research and preservation of cultural heritage, but the digital uses were not anticipated by the existing rules, which date back to 2001. Therefore, this limits the possibilities for users (e.g. educational establishments, research institutions, libraries) to benefit from the potential of new technologies. In addition, the current EU copyright framework does not address the problems emerged in the recent years in relation to the distribution of value in the online environment.

The Directive wants to create a comprehensive framework where copyrighted material, copyright holders, publishers, providers and users can all benefit from clearer rules, adapted to the digital era.

In order to achieve this goal, the Copyright Directive focuses on three main objectives:

  • Wider opportunities to use copyrighted material for education, research and preservation of cultural heritage: the exceptions allowing these uses have been modernised and adapted to the technological changes, to allow uses online and across borders.
  • More cross-border and online access for citizens to copyright-protected content: The Directive will contribute to increase the availability of audiovisual works on video-on-demand platforms, facilitate the digitalisation and dissemination of works that are out-of-commerce and will make sure that all users are able to disseminate online with full legal certainty copies of works of art that are in the public domain.
  • Fairer rules of the game for a better-functioning copyright marketplace which stimulate creation of high-quality content: a new right for press publishers in relation to the use of their content by online service providers, a reinforced position of rightholders to negotiate and be remunerated for the online exploitation of their content by user-uploaded content platforms and transparency rules related to the remuneration of authors and performers.

How will the new directive support the press and quality journalism?

The new press publishers' right will apply to online uses of press publications by information society services providers, such as news aggregators or media monitoring services. The objective of this right is to help the press publishing industry benefit from a fairer market place and to promote the best possible environment to develop innovative business models. The new right strengthens the bargaining position of press publishers when they negotiate the use of their content by online services.

Journalists, as authors of the contributions - the articles- in press publications, are essential in the press sector for providing reliable and quality journalistic content. By facilitating the online exploitation of press publications and making the enforcement of rights more efficient, the Directive will have a positive impact on them. And, in order to make sure that the journalists will benefit economically from the press publishers' right, the Directive provides that they will receive an appropriate share of the revenues generated by it. By ensuring the sustainability of the press sector, the new right will foster plural, independent and high-quality media, which are essential for the freedom of expression and the right to information in our democratic society.

Does the new press publishers' right also cover parts of press publications (so-called ‘snippets')?

According to the text adopted today, the use of individual words and very short extracts of press publications does not fall within the scope of the new right. This means that information society service providers will remain free to use such parts of a press publication, without requiring an authorisation by press publishers. When assessing what very short extracts are, the impact on the effectiveness of the new right will be taken into account.

Does the new press publishers' right affect individual users?

The Directive does not target individual users, but online uses of press publications by large online platforms and services, such as news aggregators. Internet users will continue to be able to share content on social media and link to websites and newspapers (acts of hyperlinking), just as it is the case today.

Moreover, the acts of hyperlinking and the re- use of single words or very short extracts by online platforms and services will be excluded from the scope of the new right granted to press publishers of press publications.

How will the new rules tackle the so-called 'value gap' between the creators and the online platforms?

One of the objectives of the Directive is to reinforce the position of creators and right holders to negotiate and be remunerated for the online use of their content by certain user-uploaded-content platforms.

According to today's political agreement, the platforms covered by Article 13 are considered to be carrying out acts covered by copyright (i.e. performing acts of communication or making available to the public) for which they need to obtain an authorisation from the rightholders concerned.

In situations where there are no licensing agreements concluded with rightholders, the platforms will need to take certain actions if they want to avoid liability. In particular, they will need to (i) make best efforts to obtain an authorisation, (ii) make best efforts to ensure the unavailability of unauthorised content regarding which rightholders have provided necessary and relevant information and (iii) act expeditiously to remove any unauthorised content following a notice received and make also their best efforts to prevent future uploads.

What will be the special regime for smaller enterprises foreseen in relation to value gap?

New small platforms will benefit from a lighter regime in case there is no authorisation granted by rightholders.

This concerns online service providers which have less than three years of existence in the Union and which have a turnover of less than 10 million euros and have less than 5 million monthly users. In order to avoid liability for unauthorised works, these new small companies will only have to prove that they have made their best efforts to obtain an authorisation and that they have acted expeditiously to remove the unauthorised works notified by right holders from their platform.

However, when the audience of these small companies is higher than 5 million monthly unique viewers, they will also have to prove that they have made their best efforts to ensure that works that have been notified by rightholders do not reappear on the platform at a later stage.

 

How does the Directive ensure a fair remuneration of authors and performers?

The Commission's proposal aimed to increase transparency and balance in the contractual relations between content creators (authors and performers) and their producers and publishers.

The final Directive contains five different measures to strengthen the position of authors and performers:

  • A principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers;
  • A transparency obligation to help authors and performers have access to more information about the exploitation of their works and performances;
  • A contract adjustment mechanism to allow authors and performers to obtain a fair share when the remuneration originally agreed becomes disproportionately low compared to the success of their work or performance;
  • A mechanism for the revocation of rights allowing creators to take back their rights when their works are not being exploited; and
  • A dispute resolution procedure for authors and performers.

 

What are the exceptions to copyright rules included in the Directive?

Exceptions or limitations to an exclusive right allow the beneficiary of the exception – an individual or an institution – to use protected content without the prior authorisation from right holders. Exceptions and limitations exist to facilitate the use of copyrighted content in certain circumstances and achieve specific public policy objectives such as education and research. The new Directive brings the EU framework on exceptions up to speed with digital uses in certain areas like education, research and cultural heritage. It introduces four mandatory exceptions for:

  • Text and data mining (TDM) for research purposes;
  • A general TDM exception for other purposes;
  • Teaching and educational purposes;
  • Preservation of cultural heritage.

The aim is to open up the possibilities that digital technologies offer to research, data analytics, education and heritage preservation, also taking into account online and cross-border uses of copyright-protected material.

 

How will the directive facilitate the access to more content protected by copyright for education, culture, and research purposes?

The copyright exception for text and data mining will simplify the copyright clearance burden for universities and research organisation. It will allow them to use automated technologies to analyse large sets of data for scientific purposes in all legal certainty, including when they engage in public-private partnerships. This will support scientific endeavours and innovation, e.g. helping find cures for diseases or new ways to address climate change.

Complementary to this, an additional exception for text and data mining, for other users will cover text and data mining going beyond the area of research. This exception will contribute to the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence in the EU.

The new teaching exception for educational establishments and teachers covers digital cross-border uses of content protected by copyright for the purposes of illustration for teaching, including online.This will for example ensure that educational establishments can make available, in full legal certainty, teaching content to distance students in other Member States through their secure electronic environment, e.g. a university's intranet or a school's virtual learning environment.

The new preservation exception will allow libraries and other cultural heritage institutions (e.g. archives, museums) to make copies of the works in their collections, taking advantage of new digital preservation techniques. This new rule will make it possible to digitise the EU cultural heritage to preserve it. This will benefit the access to our culture heritage by the future generations.

 

What is the new provision on public domain of works of art?

When a work of art is not protected by copyright anymore, for instance an old painting, it falls into the public domain. In that situation, everybody should be free to make, use and share copies of that work. This is not always the case today, as some Member States provide protection to copies of those works of art.

The new Directive will make sure that nobody can claim copyright protection on works in the field of the visual arts which have already fallen into the public domain. Thanks to this provision, all users will be able to disseminate online with full legal certainty copies of works of art in the public domain. For instance, anybody will be able to copy, use and share online photos of paintings, sculptures and works of art in the public domain when they find them in the internet and reuse them, including for commercial purposes or to upload them in Wikipedia.

 

What is the provision of the Out-of-commerce works about?

The Directive introduces a new licensing mechanism for out-of-commerce works: books, films and other works that are still protected by copyright but cannot be found commercially anymore. This will make it much easier for cultural heritage institutions, like archives and museums, to obtain the necessary licences to disseminate to the public, notably online and across borders, the heritage held in their collections. This system makes it much easier for cultural heritage institutions to obtain licences negotiated with the collective management organisations representing the relevant rightholders.

The new rules also provide for a new mandatory exception to copyright in case there is no representative collective management organisation representing the rightholders in a certain field, and therefore cultural heritage institutions do not have a counterpart to negotiate a licence with. This so-called “fall-back” exception allows cultural heritage institutions to make the out-of-commerce works available on non-commercial websites.

 

What is the new provision on collective licensing with an extended effect about?

The new provision on collective licensing with an extended effect enables Member States to allow collective management organisations to conclude licences covering rights of non-members, under certain conditions. This mechanism facilitates the clearance of rights in areas where otherwise individual licensing may be too burdensome for users. The provision includes a number of safeguards that protect the interests of rightholders.

 

What is the negotiation mechanism for video-on-demand platforms? How will the new rules work?

Despite the growing popularity of on-demand services (like Netflix, Amazon Video, Universcine, Filmin, Maxdome, ChiliTV) relatively few EU audiovisual works are available on video-on-demand (VoD) platforms. Less than half (47%) of EU films released in cinemas between 2005 and 2014 are available on at least one VoD service. Also, EU audiovisual works are often not available on platforms outside their home country; around half of EU films are available in only one country and 80% of EU films are available in three European countries or less on VoD services. This is partly explained by difficulties, including contractual ones, in acquiring the rights.

The Directive provides a new negotiation mechanism to support the availability, visibility and circulation of audiovisual works, in particular European. It has been thought for reaching contractual agreements and unblocking difficulties related to the licensing of the necessary rights to make available films and series on VoD platforms. More licenses means that more European audiovisual works will be available in VoD platforms and will have also a positive effect on the type and variety of works made available on VoD platforms.

MEMO/19/1151

European Commission - Press release

Digital Single Market: EU negotiators reach a breakthrough to modernise copyright rules

Strasbourg, 13 February 2019

Today, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission found a political agreement to make the copyright rules fit for digital era in Europe and bring tangible benefits to all creative sectors, the press, researchers, educators, cultural heritage institutions, and citizens.

The political agreement reached today will adapt copyright rules to today's world, where music streaming services, video-on-demand platforms, news aggregators and user-uploaded-content platforms have become the main gateways to access creative works and press articles. The agreement needs now to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the coming weeks.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “To finally have modern copyright rules for the whole of EU is a major achievement that was long overdue. The negotiations were difficult, but what counts in the end is that we have a fair and balanced result that is fit for a digital Europe: the freedoms and rights enjoyed by internet users today will be enhanced, our creators will be better remunerated for their work, and the internet economy will have clearer rules for operating and thriving.”

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “The long awaited Copyright Directive adoption is a crucial cornerstone for our Digital Single Market. By providing a clearer legal framework fit for the digital world, it will strengthen the cultural and creative sectors, and bring added value to the European citizens.”

Better protection for European authors and performers and for journalism

The new Directive reinforces the position of European authors and performers in the digital environment and enhances high-quality journalism in the EU. In particular, it brings:

-      Tangible benefits to all creative sectors, specifically creators and actors in the audio-visual and musical sectors, by reinforcing their position vis-à-vis platforms to have more control over the use of their content uploaded by users on these platforms and be remunerated for it.

-      The principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers will be laid down for the first time in European copyright law.

-      Authors and performers will enjoy access to transparent information on how their works and performances are exploited by their counterparts (publishers and producers). This will make it easier for them to negotiate future contracts and to receive a fairer share of the generated revenues. 

-      If publishers or producers fail to exploit the rights that authors and performers have transferred to them, authors and performers will be allowed to revoke their rights.

-      European press publishers will enjoy a new right, which aims to facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is re-used on online platforms. It will give journalists the right to receive a greater share of the revenues generated by the online uses of press publications. This right will not affect citizens and individual users, who will continue to enjoy and share news hyperlinks as they do today.

New rules to reinforce the interests of citizens and internet users

Users will benefit from the new licencing rules which will allow them to upload copyright protected content on platforms like YouTube or Instagram legally. They will also benefit from safeguards linked to the freedom of expression when they upload videos that contain rightholders' content, i.e. in memes or parodies. The interests of the users are preserved through effective mechanisms to swiftly contest any unjustified removal of their content by the platforms.

The new Directive will ensure wider access to knowledge by simplifying copyright rules in the areas of text and data mining for research and other purposes, education and preservation of cultural heritage:

  •          Research organisations, universities and other users will be able to make the most of the increasing number of publications and data available online for research or other purposes as they will benefit from a copyright exception to carry out text and data mining on large sets of data. This will also enhance the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence in Europe.
  •          Students and teachers will be able to use copyrighted materials in online courses, including across borders, for the purposes of illustration for teaching.
  •          The preservation of cultural heritage in the collections of European museums, archives and other cultural heritage institutions will have no copyright restrictions.

Users will also have access to works, films or music records that are no longer commercially available in Europe today, as well as wider variety of European audiovisual works on video-on-demand (VoD) platforms.

They will be completely free to share copies of paintings, sculptures and other works of art in the public domain with full legal certainty.

Next Steps

The agreed text must now be formally confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council.Once confirmed and published on the Official Journal of the EU, the Member States will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national legislation.

Background

Commission's surveys showed in 2016 that 57% of internet users access press articles via social networks, information aggregators or search engines. 47% of these users read extracts compiled by these sites without clicking through. The same trend was observed for the music and film industry: 49% of internet users in the EU access music or audiovisual content online, 40% of those aged 15-24 watched TV online at least once a week. This trend has rocketed since then.

In September 2016, the European Commission proposed to modernise EU Copyright rules for European culture to flourish and circulate, as part of the Digital Single Market Strategy.
The EU Copyright reform is a priority file for the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, who have committed to adopt it by the end of this legislative mandate. It modernises EU copyright rules which date back to 2001 – an eternity in the digital age. Back then, there were no social media, no video on demand, no museums digitising their art collections and no teacher providing online courses.

Today's agreement is a part of a broader initiative to adapt EU copyright rules to the digital age. In December 2018, EU co-legislators agreed on new rules to make it easier for European broadcasters to make certain programmes available on their live TV or catch-up services online. And since 1 April 2018, Europeans who buy or subscribe to films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books and games in their home Member State are able to access this content when they travel or stay temporarily in another EU country.

More information


  • European Commission - Press release

    Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to set up new European rules to improve fairness of online platforms' trading practices

    Strasbourg, 14 February 2019

    Yesterday evening the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission reached a political deal on the first-ever rules aimed at creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms.

    Traders selling online via marketplaces, hotels using booking platforms, or app developers are amongst those who will benefit from the new rules agreed today. The new Regulation will create a more predictable and transparent trading environment online, and will offer new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints.

    As part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the new rules will apply to the entire online platform economy - approximately 7000 online platforms or market places operating in the EU, –which include world giants as well as very small start- ups, but having often an important bargaining power vis a vis business users. Certain provisions will also apply to search engines, notably the ones concerning ranking transparency.

    Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Today's agreement marks an important milestone of the Digital Single Market that will benefit millions of European companies relying on digital platforms to reach their customers. Our target is to outlaw some of the most unfair practices and create a benchmark for transparency, at the same time safeguarding the great advantages of online platforms both for consumers and for businesses.”

    Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, stated: “Our new rules are especially designed with the millions of SMEs in mind, which constitute the economic backbone of the EU. Many of them do not have the bargaining muscle to enter into a dispute with a big platform, but with these new rules they have a new safety net and will no longer worry about being randomly kicked off a platform, or intransparent ranking in search results.”

    Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, added: These are the first rules of this kind anywhere in the world, and they strike the right balance between stimulating innovation while protecting our European values. They will improve the relationship between businesses and platforms, making it fairer and more transparent, and ultimately leading to great advantages for the consumers. We will closely monitor the evolution of this field, not least through our Online Platform Observatory.

    According to a Eurobarometer survey almost half (42%) of small and medium companies in the EU said they use online marketplaces to sell their products and services. An impact assessment carried out by the Commission ahead of its proposals showed that nearly 50% of European businesses operating on platforms experience problems. Some 38% of problems regarding contractual relations remain unsolved, and 26% are solved but with difficulties; around €1.27-2.35 billion are lost directly in sales as a result.

    Small businesses will particularly benefit immediately from:

    1. A ban on certain unfair practices
    • No more sudden, unexplained account suspensions. With the new rules, digital platforms can no longer suspend or terminate a seller's account without clear reasons, and possibilities to appeal. The platform will also have to reinstate sellers if a suspension was made in error.
    • Plain and intelligible terms and advance notice for changes. Terms and conditions must be easily available and provided in plain and intelligible language. When changing these terms and conditions, at least 15 days prior notice needs to be given to allow companies to adapt their business to these changes. Longer notice periods apply if the changes require complex adaptions.

     

    1. Greater transparency in online platforms
    • Transparent ranking. Marketplaces and search engines need to disclose the main parameters they use to rank goods and services on their site, to help sellers understand how to optimise their presence. The rules aim to help sellers without allowing gaming of the ranking system.
    • Mandatory disclosure for a range of business practices. Some online platforms not only provide the marketplace, but are also sellers on the same marketplace at the same time. According to the new transparency rules platforms must exhaustively disclose any advantage they may give to their own products over others. They must also disclose what data they collect, and how they use it – and in particular how such data is shared with other business partners they have. Where personal data is concerned, the rules of the GDPR apply.

     

    1. New avenues for dispute resolution.

    Today sellers are often left stranded with no ways to appeal or resolve complaints when problems arise. This will change with the new rules.

    • All platforms must set up an internal complaint-handling system to assist business users. Only the smallest platforms in terms of head count or turnover will be exempt from this obligation.
    • Platforms will have to provide businesses with more options to resolve a potential problem through mediators. This will help resolve more issues out of court, saving businesses time and money.
    1. Enforcement
      • Business associations will be able to take platforms to court to stop any non-compliance with the rules. This will help overcome fear of retaliation, and lower the cost of court cases for individual businesses, when the new rules are not followed. In addition, Member States can appoint public authorities with enforcement powers, if they wish, and businesses can turn to those authorities.

    Next Steps

    The new rules will apply 12 months after its adoption and publication, and will be subject to review within 18 months thereafter, in order to ensure that they keep pace with the rapidly developing market. The EU has also set up a dedicated Online Platform Observatory to monitor the evolution of the market and the effective implementation of the rules.

    Background

    Platforms offer a wide range of opportunities for fast and efficient access to international consumer markets, which is why they have become the go-to place for millions of successful businesses. However, certain structural issues lead to unfair trading practices between businesses that have come to depend on online platforms to reach their customers and undermine the innovation potential of platforms.

    The Commission's Communication on Online Platforms of May 2016 identified certain areas where more efforts are needed to ensure a trusting, lawful and innovation-driven ecosystem in the EU. As a result in April 2018 theCommission made a proposal for an EU Regulation on fairness and transparency in online platform trading as well as for the creation of anObservatory on the online platform economy. This initiative delivers on the commitment made in President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union address to safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy.

    The new rules are underpinned by an impact assessment that incorporates evidence and stakeholders' views collected during a two-year fact-finding exercise.

    For more information


  • European Commission - Press release

    Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to set up new European rules to improve fairness of online platforms' trading practices

    Strasbourg, 14 February 2019

    Yesterday evening the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission reached a political deal on the first-ever rules aimed at creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms.

    Traders selling online via marketplaces, hotels using booking platforms, or app developers are amongst those who will benefit from the new rules agreed today. The new Regulation will create a more predictable and transparent trading environment online, and will offer new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints.

    As part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the new rules will apply to the entire online platform economy - approximately 7000 online platforms or market places operating in the EU, –which include world giants as well as very small start- ups, but having often an important bargaining power vis a vis business users. Certain provisions will also apply to search engines, notably the ones concerning ranking transparency.

    Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Today's agreement marks an important milestone of the Digital Single Market that will benefit millions of European companies relying on digital platforms to reach their customers. Our target is to outlaw some of the most unfair practices and create a benchmark for transparency, at the same time safeguarding the great advantages of online platforms both for consumers and for businesses.”

    Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, stated: “Our new rules are especially designed with the millions of SMEs in mind, which constitute the economic backbone of the EU. Many of them do not have the bargaining muscle to enter into a dispute with a big platform, but with these new rules they have a new safety net and will no longer worry about being randomly kicked off a platform, or intransparent ranking in search results.”

    Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, added: These are the first rules of this kind anywhere in the world, and they strike the right balance between stimulating innovation while protecting our European values. They will improve the relationship between businesses and platforms, making it fairer and more transparent, and ultimately leading to great advantages for the consumers. We will closely monitor the evolution of this field, not least through our Online Platform Observatory.

    According to a Eurobarometer survey almost half (42%) of small and medium companies in the EU said they use online marketplaces to sell their products and services. An impact assessment carried out by the Commission ahead of its proposals showed that nearly 50% of European businesses operating on platforms experience problems. Some 38% of problems regarding contractual relations remain unsolved, and 26% are solved but with difficulties; around €1.27-2.35 billion are lost directly in sales as a result.

    Small businesses will particularly benefit immediately from:

    1. A ban on certain unfair practices
    • No more sudden, unexplained account suspensions. With the new rules, digital platforms can no longer suspend or terminate a seller's account without clear reasons, and possibilities to appeal. The platform will also have to reinstate sellers if a suspension was made in error.
    • Plain and intelligible terms and advance notice for changes. Terms and conditions must be easily available and provided in plain and intelligible language. When changing these terms and conditions, at least 15 days prior notice needs to be given to allow companies to adapt their business to these changes. Longer notice periods apply if the changes require complex adaptions.

     

    1. Greater transparency in online platforms
    • Transparent ranking. Marketplaces and search engines need to disclose the main parameters they use to rank goods and services on their site, to help sellers understand how to optimise their presence. The rules aim to help sellers without allowing gaming of the ranking system.
    • Mandatory disclosure for a range of business practices. Some online platforms not only provide the marketplace, but are also sellers on the same marketplace at the same time. According to the new transparency rules platforms must exhaustively disclose any advantage they may give to their own products over others. They must also disclose what data they collect, and how they use it – and in particular how such data is shared with other business partners they have. Where personal data is concerned, the rules of the GDPR apply.

     

    1. New avenues for dispute resolution.

    Today sellers are often left stranded with no ways to appeal or resolve complaints when problems arise. This will change with the new rules.

    • All platforms must set up an internal complaint-handling system to assist business users. Only the smallest platforms in terms of head count or turnover will be exempt from this obligation.
    • Platforms will have to provide businesses with more options to resolve a potential problem through mediators. This will help resolve more issues out of court, saving businesses time and money.
    1. Enforcement
      • Business associations will be able to take platforms to court to stop any non-compliance with the rules. This will help overcome fear of retaliation, and lower the cost of court cases for individual businesses, when the new rules are not followed. In addition, Member States can appoint public authorities with enforcement powers, if they wish, and businesses can turn to those authorities.

    Next Steps

    The new rules will apply 12 months after its adoption and publication, and will be subject to review within 18 months thereafter, in order to ensure that they keep pace with the rapidly developing market. The EU has also set up a dedicated Online Platform Observatory to monitor the evolution of the market and the effective implementation of the rules.

    Background

    Platforms offer a wide range of opportunities for fast and efficient access to international consumer markets, which is why they have become the go-to place for millions of successful businesses. However, certain structural issues lead to unfair trading practices between businesses that have come to depend on online platforms to reach their customers and undermine the innovation potential of platforms.

    The Commission's Communication on Online Platforms of May 2016 identified certain areas where more efforts are needed to ensure a trusting, lawful and innovation-driven ecosystem in the EU. As a result in April 2018 theCommission made a proposal for an EU Regulation on fairness and transparency in online platform trading as well as for the creation of anObservatory on the online platform economy. This initiative delivers on the commitment made in President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union address to safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy.

    The new rules are underpinned by an impact assessment that incorporates evidence and stakeholders' views collected during a two-year fact-finding exercise.

    For more information

  • 14.02.2019 Spataro
    Fonte: Commissione EU

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