Directive on the protection of conditional-access services: Commission consultation of interested parties

Monday, February 11th, 2008
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The European Commission is launching an open consultation and is asking all interested parties to submit information on services that use conditional-access systems, such as pay-TV or video on demand. This consultation follows an impact assessment study of the Directive on conditional-access services. The Commission will use the information gathered during the study and the consultation process to draw up its second report on the implementation of the Directive. The consultation will remain open until 4 April 2008.

The rise of pay-TV has benefited from the EU-wide protection afforded by Directive 98/84/EC on conditional-access services. Now, 10 years after it was adopted, the European Commission wishes to compile a second report on how the Directive is being implemented in what is now a very different economic and technological climate.

The Commission would therefore like to collect as much information as possible before writing its report, which is due to be adopted by the end of 2008. An impact assessment of the Directive, carried out at the Commission’s request by a consortium made up of KEA European Affairs and CERNA, was completed in December and is available on the Commission’s website at the same URL as the consultation.

The Commission is now asking all interested parties to submit their observations and opinions on the conditional-access sector, focusing on six main areas:

  • the development of cross-border services,
  • how effectively the Directive is being implemented in the Member States,
  • new services covered by the Directive,
  • how the Directive has contributed to protecting copyright holders,
  • digital rights management (DRM) systems,
  • the use of conditional access for purposes other than to protect pay-services.

The consultation will remain open until 4 April 2008. Both the consultation and the study are available online at: