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Organizado por Estudis de Dret i Ciencia Política- Grup de recerca INTERDRET-DDI

Production and online exploitation of news: what is the best way forward?

  • Fechas:

    Del 22/03/17 al 22/03/17

  • Lugar:

    Avinguda Tibidabo 39,08035 Barcelona, Barcelona, España (mapa)

Web del evento

Descripción ↑ subir


Wed. 22 March 2017. 10:00 -14:00 

The production and exploitation of news has been profoundly transformed by digital technologies and the internet. Press publishers are losing revenues, while new players in the market are benefiting from the aggregation and other uses of news contents. Copyright is being proposed as the solution but the problem is a complex one involving –beyond the law- economical and sociological aspects that need to be considered too.  The seminar aims at examining the protection of press-publishers for online uses from a legal (copyright), economic and sociologic perspective, and debate with academic experts and professionals.

Free admission – Registration required 

The seminar will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Snacks will be reserved at the end of the seminar.


Miércoles 22 de Marzo de 2017. 10:00 - 14:00

La producción y explotación de las noticias se han visto profundamente transformadas por la tecnología digital y, en especial, por Internet. Los editores de prensa han ido perdiendo ingresos, mientras que nuevos actores del mercado obtienen copiosos beneficios a través de la agregación y búsqueda de noticias y contenidos periodísticos. El derecho de autor se propone como la solución, pero el problema es complejo e implica -más allá de la ley- aspectos económicos y sociológicos que también deben ser considerados. El seminario tiene como objetivo examinar las posibilidades de protección de los editores de prensa frente a los usos en línea de estos contenidos, desde una perspectiva legal (del derecho de autor), económica y sociológica, y debatir con expertos académicos y profesionales del sector.

Entrada libre - pero se requiere inscripción (aforo limitado)

El seminario se hará en inglés y castellano.

Se servirá un aperitivo al acabar el seminario.

Organizado y patrocinado por INTERDRET- Dret d'Internet (DDI) - 2014 SGR 1476 - Grup consolidat AGAUR.

Proyecto I+D: REPBIOL (DER2015-70019-R) "Retos en la Protección de los Bienes Intangibles online: desconexión entre normativa y realidad social"

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Programa ↑ subir

Over the past years, the print circulation of newspapers has been steadily declining (a 17% decline between 2010 and 2014) and, over the same period, news publishers have accumulated a net revenue loss of almost 15%. At the same time, digital access to news is rapidly growing (a 42% rise between 2011 and 2015) fostered –in part- by the development of online platforms that become powerful players in the news markets. In 2016, 57% of news online uses accessed by means of social media (22%), aggregators (14%) and search engines (21%).  Some studies suggest that almost half of these users (47%), only browse through the news contents (shown on these platforms) and do not access the newspaper websites posting it.[1]

This has prompted press publishers to lobby legislators (at national and EU level) in order to secure further protection within the realm of copyright. After several national attempts granting press publishers ancillary rights, either as a related right for one year (in Germany) and as a remunerated statutory license (in Spain), the European Union is currently considering a proposal to grant press publishers a related right for the online uses of their press contents; see proposal of Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, COM(2016) 593. The Commission’s initial proposal grants press publishers an exclusive related right that would allow them to authorize or prohibit digital uses of their press publications for a period of 20 years. The Parliament is currently assessing the proposal and may introduce some changes (i.e., to reduce the related right to 3 years and its scope to commercial uses of professional press publications, only).  

The granting of a new related right for press-publishers, under copyright, does not come easy. On the one hand, it may upset the delicate and fundamental balance between the protection of copyright and the free flow of information (facts and data are not protected under copyright). On the other hand, it may affect the scope (and value) of exclusive rights granted to authors, and the doctrine established by the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding linking to contents freely available online (i.e., Svensson, Best-Water, GS Media). Because of the fundamental role that news and information play in a democratic society, and especially on the internet, any copyright rule affecting news access must be carefully considered and balanced. An exclusive right to control (authorize and prohibit) the linking of press contents online may have negative effects for the competition in the market as well as for the development of the information society altogether. Furthermore, as the experiences of Spain and Germany suggest, it may even fail to achieve its very goal: to increase revenues for press-publishers. In fact, evidence shows that online platforms (aggregators and search engines) have a positive impact on publishers' advertising revenue.

Perhaps the problem is not one of copyright, or only of copyright. Other reasons to be examined may include an eventual abuse of a dominant market position of some of the players. Or perhaps the economics of these multi-sided platforms may provide an even better explanation for this situation: while several factors have driven the decline in newspaper revenues and in the number of legacy newspapers, news aggregation has an opposite effect, while there is no evidence that declining revenues reduced the production of news articles as many new sources of digital news production have emerged. However, news aggregation platforms may create risks for media plurality in news consumption, more so than in the supply of news. Article rankings in platforms are driven by ad revenues. This weakens the editorial choices and branding of newspaper publishers. Rankings might trigger superstar effects that reduce the variety of news consumption. These risks cannot be adequately addressed through copyright. On the contrary, an extra layer of protection may even aggravate them. We will also examine several studies analyzing the impact of the Spanish "Google tax" - as well as the German ancillary right- in the linking practices regarding news media.


[1] See Commission Staff Working Document  -Impact Assessment on the modernisation of EU copyright rules, SWD(2016) 301 final.



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Panelists / Ponentes :

  • Joan Calzada, Associate Professor of Economics, Universitat de Barcelona.
  • Ana Sofia Cardenal, Professor of Political Science, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
  • Javier Díaz Noci, Professor of Communication, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Javier Díaz de Olarte, Director Jurídico, CEDRO.
  • Josep Lladós, Professor of Economics, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
  • Cedric Manara, Copyright Counsel, Google.
  • Bertin Martens, Digital Economy research programme, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Sevilla).
  • Miguel Ortego Ruiz, Director Adjunto, AEDE - Asociación de Editores de Diarios Españoles
  • Miquel Peguera, Professor of Law, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. 
  • Ole-Andreas Rognstad, Professor of Private Law, University of Oslo
  • Daniel Seijo, CEO de Menéame
  • Raquel Xalabarder, Chair of Intellectual Propoperty, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

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