Network-based PVRs and IPTV: The Copyright Commission presents solutions to the challenges of the digital age

The Copyright Commission of the Ministry of Education and Culture published a report (2012:2) on solutions to the copyright challenges of the digital age. The report includes an analysis of the copyright issues related to the use of network-based PVRs (NPVR) that enable the consumer to record TV-programmes to be viewed at a time more suitable to the consumer (\”time shifting\”).

The commission noted that NPVR-service providers have not concluded agreements with the right holders. This is partly attributed to the fact that the parties\’ views on the application of copyright to NPVRs differ. Therefore, the commission set out to ascertain how the Copyright Act should be applied to NPVRs. The commission report presented four alternative solutions:

1. Recording and time shifting using NPVRs shall be construed as copying for private use allowed based on the legal exception. Possible that compensation shall be paid for copying.
2. NPVR services shall be based on direct licensing.
3. NPVR services shall be based on collective licensing.
4. A system for extended collective licensing shall be developed for NPVRs.

The commission did not suggest which alternative offer the best solution. However, in a statement attached to the report some of the members of the commission announced that they do not consider the exception allowing copying for private use to be applicable to NPVRs. In their opinion, NPVR services should thus be based on agreements between the service providers and the right holders.