The decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in ITV v TVCatchup1 has finally brought to an end a long-running complex dispute, which has seen its fair share of twists and turns and cliff hangers. The decision goes beyond a finding that TVCatchup cannot stream public service broadcasting channels like ITV1 via the internet without paying copyright fees, as the CJEU concluded that the UK’s ‘cable re-transmission’ defence more generally was incompatible with EU copyright law.
However, the defence was already on borrowed time, as the Digital Economy Bill currently making its way through Parliament provides for its repeal. Of broader interest is the potential impact of the repeal of the cable retransmission defence on the complex commercial arrangements in the broadcasting industry.
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