Bucking a legal trend in Europe, the United States Copyright Office recently recommended against adopting additional copyright-like protections for news publishers that would require online news aggregators to pay publishers for news content shared on their platforms. In a report published on June 30, 2022, the Office found such protections to be unnecessary in light of copyright protections currently held by publishers in connection with their works, and noted that any change to U.S. copyright law that would increase publishers’ ability to block or seek compensation for the use of their works by news aggregators would “necessarily avoid or narrow limitations on copyright that have critical policy and Constitutional dimensions.” Instead, the Office suggested that funding challenges faced by publishers would be better solved through other legal means, such as changes to competition law or tax policy.
On May 19, 2021, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a joint statement setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and data protection in the digital economy.
Both authorities recognize that the digital economy has the potential to have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives, from improvements to public services to companies driving innovations that can make. However, they have made clear that their collective position is that this can best be achieved where digital markets are competitive, consumer and data protection rights are respected, and citizens are empowered to exercise meaningful control over their own data. In their view, there are strong synergies between the interests of data protection and competition, as demonstrated by the close working relationship which has developed between the CMA and ICO in recent years.