Christopher Spicer Quoted by Daily Journal on EU Antitrust Hearing for Hollywood Studios

Christopher Spicer, a partner in Akin Gump’s entertainment and media practice, has been quoted in the Daily Journal article “Hearing could upend EU-Hollywood deals” regarding a European Commission antitrust hearing involving Sky UK and the major Hollywood studios. According to the article, the hearing “could have major implications for Hollywood” as a committee considers whether the studios should be permitted to distribute rights on a country-by-country basis within the European Union.

Amid the possibility of a revised EU copyright law, Spicer said companies that have the infrastructure and ability to distribute across the 28 EU nations would have a big advantage. He also said it would theoretically be good for European consumers, though it would be a big problem for independent filmmakers and could prevent some of the content that consumers desire from ever being made in the first place.

“How we finance content is by selling it territory by territory over there,” Spicer said. “The number of people who can buy across one integrated EU, there’s not that many of them.”

Spicer added that it would also create challenges for theatrical and digital release windows if consumers in any European country can access content in any other: “Why is someone in Turkey going to go to a theater if it was released online in the UK and they can just pop on their iPad and watch it?”