Tackling the Direct Injection Issue

 

 

The Broadcasting Regulation proposal is currently missing a crucial element: tackling the Direct Injection (DI) loophole that is increasingly being abused by some broadcasters and operators. 

 

 

Direct Injection is a technology used by broadcasters to transmit their signals directly to distributors without those signals being accessible to the public until they have been supplied by the distributor to its subscriber base. The use of Direct Injection technology in the broadcasting sector is leading to a de facto resource transfer from Europe’s creators on the one hand to distributors and broadcasters on the other.

 

This is because Direct Injection is used by some broadcasters and distributors to take advantage of a new loophole in Europe’s copyright framework. They argue that when a signal is directly injected there is no copyright relevant act (i.e. communication to the public) to be licensed under the EU copyright acquis.

 

Broadcasters generate revenues based on advertising, as well as being paid by distributors for the right to use their signals, and distributors are paid by their subscribers for the TV packages they offer. However, both broadcasters and/or distributors are increasingly refusing to pay creators because of the Direct Injection loophole. 

 

To restore the legal certainty in the market for the benefit of creative sector and consumers, the law must recognise that in the case of Direct Injection broadcasters and distributors carry out a joint communication to the public for which they are both liable and for which they must remunerate creators fairly.