Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal Live Business

European Parliament passes Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act

By | Published on Wednesday 6 July 2022

European Union

The European Parliament has voted through the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act which will, respectively, increase the obligations of digital platforms to deal with harmful content and conduct online, and address concerns around the market dominance of the biggest tech giants.

A final version of the DMA was provisionally agreed back in March, with the final wording of the DSA provisionally agreed the following month. Although there was some last minute squabbling last month on the latter between the two main law-making institutions of the European Union, ie the Parliament and the EU Council.

The Council is still to formally adopt the final, final drafts of the two acts, though it should do that with the DMA this month and the DSA in September, with the new rules going into force shortly afterwards. Though affected platforms will have time to comply, how long depending on which rules and how big the platform is.

While arguably not as significant for the music industry as the European copyright reforms in 2019, nevertheless the new rules governing digital platforms and tech giants across Europe will have some impact on the music business – although, as always, quite what impact won’t really become clear until the new rules are being actively enforced.

The DMA could force some key changes when it comes to apps on Apple and Android devices, allowing app-makers to sign-post and/or employ alternative payment systems, which has been a big priority for Spotify for years now, and which could also boost opportunities for the wider music industry in the direct-to-fan space.

Meanwhile, on the live side, anti-ticket touting campaigners hope that new obligations in the Digital Services Act might result in better regulation in relation to the resale of tickets online across Europe. In particular some of the transparency obligations already in place in the UK – to make it clearer who is selling a ticket and that they are not an official seller – could apply across the EU too.

Welcoming the passing of the DSA, Sam Shemtob from the Face-value European Alliance For Ticketing said: “The introduction of the Digital Services Act is a key moment for the live events sector in the UK, as well as across Europe. The new legislation regulating online marketplaces will see EU countries catch up with the UK in terms of stricter rules for verifying professional sellers and making sure fans know who they’re buying from”.

“This will directly impact all UK artists who tour Europe”, he added, “as well as make it harder for UK touts to operate under the guise of anonymity on European ticket resale sites”.