Use of out-of-commerce works

From DSM Exceptions

CHAPTER 1 Out-of-commerce works and other subject matter[edit]

Article 8 Use of out-of-commerce works and other subject matter by cultural heritage institutions[edit]

1. Member States shall provide that a collective management organisation, in accordance with its mandates from rightholders, may conclude a non-exclusive licence for non-commercial purposes with a cultural heritage institution for the reproduction, distribution, communication to the public or making available to the public of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter that are permanently in the collection of the institution, irrespective of whether all rightholders covered by the licence have mandated the collective management organisation, on condition that: (a) the collective management organisation is, on the basis of its mandates, sufficiently representative of rightholders in the relevant type of works or other subject matter and of the rights that are the subject of the licence; and (b) all rightholders are guaranteed equal treatment in relation to the terms of the licence.

2. Member States shall provide for an exception or limitation to the rights provided for in Article 5(a), (b), (d) and (e) and Article 7(1) of Directive 96/9/EC, Articles 2 and 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC, Article 4(1) of Directive 2009/24/EC, and Article 15(1) of this Directive, in order to allow cultural heritage institutions to make available, for non-commercial purposes, out-of-commerce works or other subject matter that are permanently in their collections, on condition that: (a) the name of the author or any other identifiable rightholder is indicated, unless this turns out to be impossible; and (b) such works or other subject matter are made available on non-commercial websites.

3. Member States shall provide that the exception or limitation provided for in paragraph 2 only applies to types of works or other subject matter for which no collective management organisation that fulfils the condition set out in point (a) of paragraph 1 exists.

4. Member States shall provide that all rightholders may, at any time, easily and effectively, exclude their works or other subject matter from the licensing mechanism set out in paragraph 1 or from the application of the exception or limitation provided for in paragraph 2, either in general or in specific cases, including after the conclusion of a licence or after the beginning of the use concerned.

5. A work or other subject matter shall be deemed to be out of commerce when it can be presumed in good faith that the whole work or other subject matter is not available to the public through customary channels of commerce, after a reasonable effort has been made to determine whether it is available to the public. Member States may provide for specific requirements, such as a cut-off date, to determine whether works and other subject matter can be licensed in accordance with paragraph 1 or used under the exception or limitation provided for in paragraph 2. Such requirements shall not extend beyond what is necessary and reasonable, and shall not preclude being able to determine that a set of works or other subject matter as a whole is out of commerce, when it is reasonable to presume that all works or other subject matter are out of commerce.

6. Member States shall provide that the licences referred to in paragraph 1 are to be sought from a collective management organisation that is representative for the Member State where the cultural heritage institution is established.

7. This Article shall not apply to sets of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter if, on the basis of the reasonable effort referred to in paragraph 5, there is evidence that such sets predominantly consist of: (a) works or other subject matter, other than cinematographic or audiovisual works, first published or, in the absence of publication, first broadcast in a third country; (b) cinematographic or audiovisual works, of which the producers have their headquarters or habitual residence in a third country; or (c) works or other subject matter of third country nationals, where after a reasonable effort no Member State or third country could be determined pursuant to points (a) and (b). By way of derogation from the first subparagraph, this Article shall apply where the collective management organisation is sufficiently representative, within the meaning of point (a) of paragraph 1, of rightholders of the relevant third country.

Article 9 Cross-border uses[edit]

1. Member States shall ensure that licences granted in accordance with Article 8 may allow the use of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter by cultural heritage institutions in any Member State. 2. The uses of works and other subject matter under the exception or limitation provided for in Article 8(2) shall be deemed to occur solely in the Member State where the cultural heritage institution undertaking that use is established.

Article 10 Publicity measures[edit]

1. Member States shall ensure that information from cultural heritage institutions, collective management organisations or relevant public authorities, for the purposes of the identification of the out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, covered by a licence granted in accordance with Article 8(1), or used under the exception or limitation provided for in Article 8(2), as well as information about the options available to rightholders as referred to in Article 8(4), and, as soon as it is available and where relevant, information on the parties to the licence, the territories covered and the uses, is made permanently, easily and effectively accessible on a public single online portal from at least six months before the works or other subject matter are distributed, communicated to the public or made available to the public in accordance with the licence or under the exception or limitation. The portal shall be established and managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 386/2012. 2. Member States shall provide that, if necessary for the general awareness of rightholders, additional appropriate publicity measures are taken regarding the ability of collective management organisations to license works or other subject matter in accordance with Article 8, the licences granted, the uses under the exception or limitation provided for in Article 8(2) and the options available to rightholders as referred to in Article 8(4). The appropriate publicity measures referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph shall be taken in the Member State where the licence is sought in accordance with Article 8(1) or, for uses under the exception or limitation provided for in Article 8(2), in the Member State where the cultural heritage institution is established. If there is evidence, such as the origin of the works or other subject matter, to suggest that the awareness of rightholders could be more efficiently raised in other Member States or third countries, such publicity measures shall also cover those Member States and third countries.

Article 11 Stakeholder dialogue[edit]

Member States shall consult rightholders, collective management organisations and cultural heritage institutions in each sector before establishing specific requirements pursuant to Article 8(5), and shall encourage regular dialogue between representative users' and rightholders' organisations, including collective management organisations, and any other relevant stakeholder organisations, on a sector-specific basis, to foster the relevance and usability of the licensing mechanisms set out in Article 8(1) and to ensure that the safeguards for rightholders referred to in this Chapter are effective.

Relevant Recitals[edit]

(30) Cultural heritage institutions should benefit from a clear framework for the digitisation and dissemination, including across borders, of works or other subject matter that are considered to be out of commerce for the purposes of this Directive. However, the particular characteristics of the collections of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, together with the amount of works and other subject matter involved in mass digitisation projects, mean that obtaining the prior authorisation of the individual rightholders can be very difficult. This can be due, for example, to the age of the works or other subject matter, their limited commercial value or the fact that they were never intended for commercial use or that they have never been exploited commercially. It is therefore necessary to provide for measures to facilitate certain uses of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter that are permanently in the collections of cultural heritage institutions.

(31) All Member States should have legal mechanisms in place allowing licences issued by relevant and sufficiently representative collective management organisations to cultural heritage institutions, for certain uses of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, to also apply to the rights of rightholders that have not mandated a representative collective management organisation in that regard. It should be possible, pursuant to this Directive, for such licences to cover all Member States.

(32) The provisions on collective licensing of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter introduced by this Directive might not provide a solution for all cases in which cultural heritage institutions encounter difficulties in obtaining all the necessary authorisations from rightholders for the use of such out-of-commerce works or other subject matter. That could be the case for example, where there is no practice of collective management of rights for a certain type of work or other subject matter or where the relevant collective management organisation is not sufficiently representative for the category of the rightholders and of the rights concerned. In such particular instances, it should be possible for cultural heritage institutions to make out-of-commerce works or other subject matter that are permanently in their collection available online in all Member States under a harmonised exception or limitation to copyright and related rights. It is important that uses under such exception or limitation only take place when certain conditions, in particular as regards the availability of licensing solutions, are fulfilled. A lack of agreement on the conditions of the licence should not be interpreted as a lack of availability of licensing solutions.

(33) Member States should, within the framework provided for in this Directive, have flexibility in choosing the specific type of licensing mechanism, such as extended collective licensing or presumptions of representation, that they put in place for the use of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter by cultural heritage institutions, in accordance with their legal traditions, practices or circumstances. Member States should also have flexibility in determining what the requirements for collective management organisations to be sufficiently representative are, as long as that determination is based on a significant number of rightholders in the relevant type of works or other subject matter having given a mandate allowing the licensing of the relevant type of use. Member States should be free to establish specific rules applicable to cases in which more than one collective management organisation is representative for the relevant works or other subject matter, requiring for example joint licences or an agreement between the relevant organisations.

(34) For the purpose of those licensing mechanisms, a rigorous and well-functioning collective management system is important. Directive 2014/26/EU provides for such a system and that system includes in particular rules on good governance, transparency and reporting, as well as the regular, diligent and accurate distribution and payment of amounts due to individual rightholders.

(35) Appropriate safeguards should be available for all rightholders, who should be given the opportunity of excluding the application of the licensing mechanisms and of the exception or limitation, introduced by this Directive for the use of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, in relation to all their works or other subject matter, in relation to all licences or all uses under the exception or limitation, in relation to particular works or other subject matter, or in relation to particular licences or uses under the exception or limitation, at any time before or during the term of the licence or before or during the use under the exception or limitation. Conditions governing those licensing mechanisms should not affect their practical relevance for cultural heritage institutions. It is important that, where a rightholder excludes the application of such mechanisms or of such exception or limitation to one or more works or other subject matter, any ongoing uses are terminated within a reasonable period, and, where they take place under a collective licence, that the collective management organisation once informed ceases to issue licences covering the uses concerned. Such exclusion by rightholders should not affect their claims to remuneration for the actual use of the work or other subject matter under the licence.

(36) This Directive does not affect the ability of Member States to decide who is to have legal responsibility as regards the compliance of the licensing of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, and of their use, with the conditions set out in this Directive, and as regards the compliance of the parties concerned with the terms of those licences.

(37) Considering the variety of works and other subject matter in the collections of cultural heritage institutions, it is important that the licensing mechanisms and the exception or limitation provided for by this Directive are available and can be used in practice for different types of works and other subject matter, including photographs, software, phonograms, audiovisual works and unique works of art, including where they have never been commercially available. Never-in-commerce works can include posters, leaflets, trench journals or amateur audiovisual works, but also unpublished works or other subject matter, without prejudice to other applicable legal constraints, such as national rules on moral rights. When a work or other subject matter is available in any of its different versions, such as subsequent editions of literary works and alternate cuts of cinematographic works, or in any of its different manifestations, such as digital and printed formats of the same work, that work or other subject matter should not be considered out of commerce. Conversely, the commercial availability of adaptations, including other language versions or audiovisual adaptations of a literary work, should not preclude a work or other subject matter from being deemed to be out of commerce in a given language. In order to reflect the specificities of different types of works and other subject matter as regards modes of publication and distribution, and to facilitate the usability of those mechanisms, specific requirements and procedures might have to be established for the practical application of those licensing mechanisms, such as a requirement for a certain time period to have elapsed since the work or other subject matter was first commercially available. It is appropriate that Member States consult rightholders, cultural heritage institutions and collective management organisations when establishing such requirements and procedures.

(38) When determining whether works or other subject matter are out of commerce, a reasonable effort should be required to assess their availability to the public in the customary channels of commerce, taking into account the characteristics of the particular work or other subject matter or of the particular set of works or other subject matter. Member States should be free to determine the allocation of responsibilities for making that reasonable effort. The reasonable effort should not have to involve repeated action over time but it should nevertheless involve taking account of any easily accessible evidence of upcoming availability of works or other subject matter in the customary channels of commerce. A work-by-work assessment should only be required where that is considered reasonable in view of the availability of relevant information, the likelihood of commercial availability and the expected transaction cost. Verification of availability of a work or other subject matter should normally take place in the Member State where the cultural heritage institution is established, unless verification across borders is considered reasonable, for example in cases where there is easily available information that a literary work was first published in a given language version in another Member State. In many cases, the out-of-commerce status of a set of works or other subject matter could be determined through a proportionate mechanism, such as sampling. The limited availability of a work or other subject matter, such as its availability in second-hand shops, or the theoretical possibility that a licence for a work or other subject matter could be obtained should not be considered as availability to the public in the customary channels of commerce.

(39) For reasons of international comity, the licensing mechanism and the exception or limitation provided for in this Directive for the digitisation and dissemination of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter should not apply to sets of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter where there is evidence available to presume that they predominantly consist of works or other subject matter of third countries, unless the collective management organisation concerned is sufficiently representative for that third country, for example via a representation agreement. That assessment could be based on the evidence available following the making of the reasonable effort to determine whether the works or other subject matter are out of commerce, without the need to search for further evidence. A work-by-work assessment of the origin of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter should only be required insofar as it is also required for making the reasonable effort to determine whether they are commercially available.

(40) Contracting cultural heritage institutions and collective management organisations should remain free to agree on the territorial scope of licences, including the option of covering all Member States, the licence fee and the uses allowed. Uses covered by such licences should not be for profit-making purposes, including where copies are distributed by the cultural heritage institution, such as in the case of promotional material about an exhibition. At the same time, given that the digitisation of the collections of cultural heritage institutions can entail significant investments, any licences granted under the mechanism provided for in this Directive should not prevent cultural heritage institutions from covering the costs of the licence and the costs of digitising and disseminating the works or other subject matter covered by the licence.

(41) Information regarding the ongoing and future use of out-of-commerce works and other subject matter by cultural heritage institutions on the basis of this Directive and the arrangements in place for all rightholders to exclude the application of licences or of the exception or limitation to their works or other subject matter should be adequately publicised both before and during the use under a licence or under the exception or limitation, as appropriate. Such publicising is particularly important when uses take place across borders in the internal market. It is therefore appropriate to provide for the creation of a single publicly accessible online portal for the Union in order to make such information available to the public for a reasonable period of time before the use takes place. Such portal should make it easier for rightholders to exclude the application of licences or of the exception or limitation to their works or other subject matter. Under Regulation (EU) No 386/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (11), the European Union Intellectual Property Office is entrusted with certain tasks and activities, financed by making use of its own budgetary means and aimed at facilitating and supporting the activities of national authorities, the private sector and Union institutions in the fight against, including the prevention of, infringement of intellectual property rights. It is therefore appropriate to rely on that Office to establish and manage the portal making such information available. In addition to making the information available through the portal, further appropriate publicity measures might need to be taken on a case-by-case basis in order to increase the awareness in that regard of the rightholders concerned, for example through the use of additional channels of communication to reach a wider public. The necessity, the nature and the geographic scope of the additional publicity measures should depend on the characteristics of the relevant out-of-commerce works or other subject matter, the terms of the licences or the type of use under the exception or limitation, and the existing practices in Member States. Publicity measures should be effective without the need to inform each rightholder individually.

(42) In order to ensure that the licensing mechanisms established by this Directive for out-of-commerce works or other subject matter are relevant and function properly, that rightholders are adequately protected, that licences are properly publicised and that legal certainty is provided with regard to the representativeness of collective management organisations and the categorisation of works, Member States should foster sector-specific stakeholder dialogue.

(43) The measures provided for in this Directive to facilitate the collective licensing of rights in out-of-commerce works or other subject matter that are permanently in the collections of cultural heritage institutions should be without prejudice to the use of such works or other subject matter under exceptions or limitations provided for in Union law, or under other licences with an extended effect, where such licensing is not based on the out-of-commerce status of the covered works or other subject matter. Those measures should also be without prejudice to national mechanisms for the use of out-of-commerce works or other subject matter based on licences between collective management organisations and users other than cultural heritage institutions.

Implementation of the Out-Of-Commerce Works Portal (Art. 10)[edit]

EUIPO The Out-of-Commerce Works Portal – High-LevelSpecification (25 March 2020)

Academic Articles[edit]

Franck Gloglo, "Understanding the modernisation of European Union's copyright law in a changing world", European Intellectual Property Review, 2020, 42(8), 504-507


European Copyright Society, "Comment on the Implementation of ECL rules (Articles 8-12) CDSM Directive" (11/07/2020)[1]

Melanie Brown, “Exploring Article 8 of the Copyright Directive: Hope for Cultural Heritage” CIPPM / Jean Monnet Working Paper, No. 04-2020, June 2020

Geiger, Christophe and Frosio, Giancarlo and Bulayenko, Oleksandr, Facilitating Access to Out-of-Commerce Works in the Digital Single Market: How to Make Pico della Mirandola’s Dream a Reality in the European Union (2018). 9(3) Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology & Electronic Commerce (JIPITEC) 240-250 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3484173

Tatiana Synodinou, The New Copyright Directive: Out of commerce works (Articles 8 to 11): is it possible to untie the Gordian knot of mass digitisation and copyright law without cutting it off? – Part I Kluwer Copyright Blog

Tatiana Synodinou, The New Copyright Directive: Out of commerce works (Articles 8 to 11): is it possible to untie the Gordian knot of mass digitisation and copyright law without cutting it off? – Part II Kluwer Copyright Blog

Lucie Guibault and Simone Schroff, “The Use of Extended Collective Licensing for the Use of Out of Commerce Works in Europe: a Matter of Legitimacy Vis à Vis Right Holders”, IIC(2018), 916 [2]