To tackle the financial difficulties facing the newspaper industry, different solutions have been advanced in Europe. These have resulted in either the conclusion of consensual agreements or the adoption of national legislative initiatives to create sui generis rights over news content. Currently also the EU Commission is considering whether a neighbouring right for publishers – whether in the press sector alone or also other sectors – should be proposed for adoption at the EU level.
This contribution discusses: (1) the compatibility with EU law of national legislative initiatives that have resulted in the creation of sui generis rights for press publishers; and (2) whether a neighbouring right for publishers may be adopted at the EU level and, if so, what changes of the copyright acquis are required. It concludes that, while the former may be contrary to Member States’ obligations under EU law, the latter may be pursued by amending relevant directives.