Media Policy and Copyright in Europe: the Progressive Expansion of the Law for Broadcasters to Online Platforms

This paper draws upon the evolution and EU harmonization of media regulations and copyright in the last three decades. The piece shows the EU’s attempt to support its own creative industries not only through very broad creators’ rights but also through a law tailored for broadcasters’ needs. From the outset, this special legal regime included special responsibilities and privileges that, especially in the pre-digital era, made public and private television the most important vector to fund audiovisual productions, protect the value of cultural creation and preserve Europe’s cultural diversity and national identities. The paper critically reviews the progressive expansion of these intertwined areas of law at a time when television’s productions and content deliveries increasingly compete with those of online content platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.