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Date(s) - 24/02/2022
14:00 - 16:00

Kategorien Keine Kategorien

Conference hosted by the
Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, University of Luxembourg
and the
Institute of European Media Law (EMR)


The different phenomena of piracy of intellectual property are widespread and have a significant commercial impact both for the respective rightsholders as well as the entire value chain. All categories of rightsholders such as authors, music composers or producers have their stories to tell in this regard. However, the perspective of providers of linear broadcasts is rarely shown, except when it concerns the broadcasting of live sport events. There is a widespread misconception – whether deliberate or not – that “free-to-air” means “free-to-use” even for a commercial use; at least that explanation is often heard across the globe when unauthorized use of copyrighted material occurs. In order to shed more light on the specifics of intellectual property law concerning the use of protected broadcasts, this conference deals with an issue that has grown in relevance over the past years. Moving away from the perspective of copyright violations concerning authors’ rights, the focus here will be the situation of broadcasters of (linear) television programmes. Their legal position and the question of protection of the signal transmission against unauthorized “re-use” is addressed partly in EU and partly in national law. The aspect of enforcement of their rights is especially significant and we will be discussing recent developments in this regard.

The aim of the conference is to first set the scene by presenting the technical and economic background of unauthorized access to especially television programmes broadcast within the European Union and then discuss legal aspects in both substantive and procedural perspective. After the presentations there will be room for discussion with the audience.

Directly to the registration



14.00       Setting the Scene: “Piracy on all waves?” – Overview of the different phenomena of unauthorized re-use of broadcasting signals

Prof. Dr. Stephan Ory, Director Institute of European Media Law (EMR) / Lawyer

With a focus on linear television programmes, the different types of unauthorized re-use of such signals are presented and their economic dimension outlined. There are many different types of making available of TV programmes without having cleared licensing obligations, such as including programmes on platforms without authorization by the rights-holders, by not reporting correctly which programmes are being used; particularly relevant in the past years is the online-streaming of TV signals captured from “free-to-air”-transmission without having a licence as well as commercial VPN-providers that offer ways to circumvent geo-blocking of content. The volume of damage for the providers of the original TV programmes is significant and not only limited to diminishing the value of exclusive rights e.g. for live sports events broadcasting.

14.20       “Free-to-Air = Free-to-Use?” – Retransmission of broadcast signals without rights-clearance

Prof. Dr. Mark D. Cole, Professor for Media and Telecommunication Law, University of Luxembourg / Director for Acamedic Affairs, Institute of European Media Law (EMR)

Does the transmission of free-to-air broadcasts mean that such unencrypted signals can be freely re-used for private or commercial purposes? Although the answer seems as obvious as the need to protect the rights of the original “creators” of the programmes, the legal framework is far from being clear. This presentation will lay out the rights of broadcasting companies when it comes to the transmission and retransmission of their programmes. It will especially focus on the European Union’s CabSat-Directive (93/83/EEC) and put it in context with the other copyright and related rights Directives of the EU. Because of its relevance, the picking up of broadcast signals that are publicly available across borders namely by free-to-air satellite dissemination and retransmission by providers retransmitting these signals without having a specific license agreement with the broadcasters or a collecting society will be discussed. This will include a discussion of existing and pending CJEU cases on the matter.

15.00       “Streaming without Frontiers?” – Enforcing with many Frontiers

Prof. Dr. Eleonora Rosati, Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Stockholm University / Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Market Law, Stockholm University / Of Counsel, Bird & Bird

It is a persisting problem for broadcasters – not only those established in the European Union but also in other parts of the world – that their signals are being re-used fully or in parts without authorization as will be demonstrated in the first part of the conference. This presentation will deal with the difficulties in enforcing rights within the European Union and beyond its borders. It will take a look at the enforcement possibilities given by EU law and national law. In addition, attempts in the EU and on international level to enhance the protection of broadcasters’ rights by means of specific procedures or in form of a global convention will be discussed.

Presentations followed by a Discussion

16.00       Closing of Conference



Registration is required to participate in the webinar. This can be done under the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3891611876051538699
After your registration, you will receive further information as well as your personal link for logging in to the mail address you provided during registration. If you have problems registering, in particular if you do not receive a login link after registering, please check your spam folder first. If you do not find a corresponding e-mail there either, please contact us by e-mail at emr@emr-sb.de and we will send you your personalised dial-in link manually. 

Privacy notice:
The event will be held as an online livestream via the GoToWebinar platform. Information on data protection can be found at https://www.logmeininc.com/de/legal/privacy.
The data you provide as part of the registration process will be processed by the EMR for as long as and to the extent that it is necessary for the implementation of the event, in particular for sending the dial-in data.
The event will be recorded to be made available later as video on demand. This concerns personal data of the participants only insofar as voluntary requests to speak are made under naming. Otherwise, questions can be submitted anonymously via the moderated chat or in advance by email to emr@emr-sb.de.

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