Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Course 3: Copyright Economics before and after the new copyright directive (25/11 – 27/11)

Europe has new rules to ensure people and companies get paid fairly when they produce and distribute content. In this course, we will go deeper into these new rules and the changes they bring.

Course 3: Copyright Economics before and after the new copyright directive

For those that are following the full program, course 3 is elective.

You can also join for only this course, Because of Covid-19 we have adapted the format in order to enable distance teaching so that all students, taking travel restrictions or personal quarantines into account, can fully take part. This means that this course will be completely online and consist of three one-hour lectures per day.

Click here for more details on designing your own program.

Copyright law is a core component of the functioning of media sectors, shaping how creators and companies earn money and control what can be done with music, films, news articles, etc. Therefore it is very important for anybody willing to work in or with the media to understand how copyright works, how it protects creators and companies, what its limitations and impact are, in particular, it’s the economic impact on business and on creation.

This course focusses on the recent and controversial European Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market. Lawyers policymakers and media professionals will elaborate on how this Directive was formed.

Key Objectives:

  • Acquire knowledge on the basics of international, European and national IPR copyright frameworks.
  • Understand the legal and economic justifications and limitations of copyright
  • Understand who are the involved actors and their relationships
  • Understand the shifting context for dealing with IPR copyright in the European media industry due to
  • Provide a balanced overview of topical IPR copyright issues in the digital age and consequences in terms of revenues and industry structure provide participants with a crash course on these European policy domains that affect doing business in media and communications at large, with a focus on Audiovisual Media Services directive, Digital Single Market policies, and competition law.


  • The basics to understand how copyright works from a legal point of view: Who and what is protected? How and under which limits.
  • The economics of copyright: why copyright is important in the functioning of media industries? Why are its limits also important?
  • The policy process that has led to the vote of the Copyright Directive and the (economic) rationale of its supporters and opponents.
  • Piracy, how it impacts media sectors and how it has been countered.
  • Copyright and online platforms: Can copyright (and in particular the Copyright Directive) be used to reduce the platforms’ market power? At what cost for the platforms and society?

Target audience:

Professionals working in the media sector, including but not limited to those working in legal departments.

The course curator

Heritiana RanavaisonHeritiana Ranaivoson is a  Senior Researcher and Project Leader at imec-SMIT-VUB where he works on media economics and policy. He obtained his PhD in Industrial Economics (Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne) in 2008 on cultural diversity in the recording industry.
While digital technologies have been here for quite some time already, he is still amazed by the changes they keep triggering in the cultural and media industries and how they allow (or constrain) these industries to innovate. He is particularly interested in the impact these changes have on the diversity of the content these industries provide and what we do with such content diversity. And eventually, the policies that are needed in this new environment. He analyses these changes using his background in industrial economics and business modelling, with a particular interest in combining quantitative and qualitative research (e.g. the quantification of qualitative aspects such as diversity or innovation).

As an economist working on media sectors, he finds it crucial to have a broader view than only an economist’s. This includes having expertise in media policy and media law. His interest for copyright has followed a general trend (since at least the advent of peer-to-peer services like Napster, eMule, BitTorrent) that it is no longer a matter for professionals only, but a topic that has a direct impact on citizens, and these citizens become more and more aware of its importance.

25 Nov 2020 27 Nov 2020

09:30 - 12:30




  • Wed. 09.30 - 10.40
    General introduction to copyright - Prof. Dr Fabienne Brison, VUB
  • Wed. 10.30 - 11.15
    What? How? Who? An overview of copyright regulation in the EU - Prof. Dr Fabienne Brison, VUB
  • Wed. 11.30 - 12.15
    Introduction to the EU Copyright Package - Prof. Dr Fabienne Brison, VUB
  • Thur. 09.30 - 10.15
    The economic justifications for Intellectual property - Dr Heritiana Ranaivoson, VUB
  • Thur. 10.30 - 11.15
    Copyright & scientific publishing - Dr. Michiel Kolman, Elsevier
  • Thur. 11.30 - 12.15
    The Value Gap - where at now? - Burak Özgen, GESAC
  • Fri. 09.30 - 10.15
    The new copyright for press publishers - Tobias Mckenney, Google
  • Fri. 10.30 - 11.15
    Copyright policy-making: from the Digital Single Market to Artificial Intelligence - Anne-Catherine Lorrain, European Parliament
  • Fri. 11.30 - 12.15
    The Copyright Directive from the broadcasters’ perspective - Ted Shapiro, Wiggin LLP


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