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New tariff will kill Spanish aggregators   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 8:37 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

Within the last couple of months, it has been very quiet about the Spanish link tax which aims to charge content aggregators a fee if they publish snippets of a news article. As a consequence, after this law was passed, Google News Spain, the main target of this measure, was shut down in 2014. But now the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO) has initiated a new round of negotiations with several affected online services. The figures they ask for are shocking.

For each "active user", CEDRO wants to charge about five cents per day, according to their tariff (p. 24)! An active user is defined as someone "who uses the service at least once a day, regardless of the number of times the service is accessed every day." One does not have to be very good at math to understand with what tremendous numbers aggregators are faced with.

Daniel Seijo, CEO of the Spanish social news website Menéame, explained that the platform had an average of 139.000 unique users per day in 2016. "If we applied the CEDRO-rate, we would have to pay more than 7,000 euros a day, that would be 2.56 million euros a year. We had a turnover of 125,000 euros. We would have to close", Seijo said. This clearly shows how disproportionate the tariff is and how valuable the services by the aggregators to the publishers actually are.

Furthermore, it remains highly unclear how the fee had been calculated. Why does it refer to active users? Why not per month instead of per day? Why five cents? A CEDRO spokesperson said that "we have calculated [the fee] according to the law, carrying out the relevant studies and presenting them to the Ministry of Culture." So far, a document that shows this process has not been presented.

Although Menéame has not yet been contacted by CEDRO, the company is faced with "enormous legal uncertainty" which would also prevent new competitors from entering the market, Seijo warns.

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

German District Court considers ancillary copyright null and void   Am 8. Februar 2017 - 12:50 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

In an oral hearing at the district court of Berlin on Tuesday, the presiding judge held that the German ancillary copyright (ac) had to be notified by the German Government. If the court clings to this assessment the German ac could be declared ineffective, null and void.

It’s all about money

Yesterday’s hearing was part of a lawsuit between the German collecting society VG Media and Google. The VG media manages the ac for a number of German publishers. The VG Media claims, inter alia, remuneration and damages for the use of snippets and thumbnails in Google News and Google Search. Almost all decisive aspects regarding these claims are disputed. The core question is, whether the snippets (and thumbnails) that Google’s search services display can be considered as “individual words or the smallest of text excerpts”. In this case their use would be exempted according to Art. 87f German Copyright Act (UrhG), hence would not be subject to licensing or remuneration obligations.

No valid law no claims

Now it seems that all these details might turn out irrelevant. The district court suggested that the German government had to notify the ancillary copyright prior to its enactment according to the EU directive 98/48/EC. To put it simply, the directive obligates the member states to notify national legislation that relates to technical regulation for Information Society services. If a national government fails to notify, the law is not valid and cannot be executed or enforced.

Notification duty for the ac controversial

Whether or not the German ac was actually subject to the notification duty under directive 98/48/EC is disputed. However, the Berlin district court deems the obligation applicable. If it clings to this opinion, it could a) reject the legal action of the VG Media for this reason alone or b) refer the question to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In the latter case the German proceedings would be suspended until the ECJ decides. This could take years.

The Berlin court announced its verdict for May 9, 2017. Then we will see if the publishers suffer another historic defeat on their quest to enforce the ancillary copyright in Germany. 

Landgericht Berlin hält das LSR für unwirksam   Am 7. Februar 2017 - 17:28 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Die heutige mündliche Verhandlung vor dem Landgericht in Sachen VG Media gegen Google begann mit einem Paukenschlag: Nach dem vorsitzenden Richter Scholz neigt die Kammer zu der Annahme, dass die Bundesregierung das deutsche LSR bei der EU hätte notifizieren müssen. Träfe das zu, wäre das LSR unwirksam und alle Verfahren würden ins Leere laufen. Weiter

"Grossly disproportionate" – New study on publisher's right   Am 17. Januar 2017 - 11:14 Uhr von Tom Hirche

OpenForum Europe (OFE) has commissioned Dr. Mireille van Eechoud, who is Professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law, to conduct a study on the ancillary copyright for publishers as proposed by the European Commission. It is very carefully written and pays special attention to the freedom of expression, the special effects on authors and open data/science.

In order to introduce a new exclusive right, market failure must be given. Van Eechoud correctly works and points out that this is a "highly contested" issue regarding the relationship between news publishers and news aggregators/search engines. Although the proposed publisher's right "would potentially cover all other domains where periodical publications are a form of communication, e.g., professional, business, educational, and government publications", the European Commission had not explained "why all of these domains experience market failure justifying regulatory intervention."

Van Eechoud is at least surprised by the European Commission's "expectation that the new right would have a positive impact on freedom of expression" and reminds the organ to "ensure any legislative intervention conforms to the standards of article 10 ECHR and 11 CFR." The proposed protection term of 20 years is qualified as "grossly disproportionate".

Furthermore, van Eechoud criticises that the publisher's right "would go beyond existing copyright and database rights" as even the "smallest uses" of text would be covert by it due to missing restrictions which might consequently "backfire on journalists and the press as users of information." If the new right shall only solve problems connected with copyright enforcement, then it "seems disproportionate, especially in light of the absence of any data on the scope of the problem."

Due to the proposed right currently also extending to "periodicals published by public sector bodies", van Eechoud recommends to exclude them from the proposal and that "a similar clear exclusion should be made for academic and scientific publications."

Snippets not only may but will be illegal   Am 16. Januar 2017 - 7:19 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament held an event labelled "Hearing on Copyright". One of the speakers was Giuseppe Abbamonte, the Commission's director of media policy at the DG CONNECT, who said that we might all act illegally when we share articles, as reported by Chris Spillane from POLITICO.

Answering a question by Therese Comodine Cachia (MEP/EPP), member of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) where she serves as the Parliament's rapporteur for copyright, Abbamonte said while sharing a mere hyperlink would not be a breach of copyright, an accompanying snippet from the linked article may be:

"If someone reproduces or shares [...] an abstract of a work which repeats the creative effort made by the author, then this person or entity [...] may be required to get authorization or may make a payment."

Abbamonte is said to have cited the European Court of Justice's (ECJ) case "Infopaq" (C-5/08) where it was ruled that the extraction of 11 words from a copyright protected work can already be a violation of the author's rights.

So what Abbamonte, a European Commission official, did was (1) pointing out that sharing a link over Twitter, Facebook etc. together with a short snippet consisting of 11 words or more would infringe on an author's copyright and (2) creating the impression that – as this has been the situation since the above mentioned ruling from 2009 – nothing will change with the new proposed publisher's right.

But this is not true. First, even sharing a snippet of 20, 30 or more words can be legal due to the right to quote. And second, the proposal of the publisher's right goes much further as it protects the investment made by the publisher. But the investment literally went into every single word of the article. Consequently, every single word of ot will be protected under the current proposal so that the sharing of even less than 11 words not only may but will infringe on the (proposed) publisher's right. Nowhere does it say in the proposal that private users in general or the sharing of a certain amount of words are exempt from this regulation.

Ansip übernimmt Oettingers Aufgaben   Am 23. Dezember 2016 - 4:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Ende Oktober 2016 wurde bekannt, dass EU-Kommissar Günther Oettinger neuer EU-Haushaltskommissar werden soll. Offen blieb die Frage, wer dann das Ressort für digitale Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft führen wird. Darauf gibt es jetzt eine Antwort. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

British top scholars against European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 17. Dezember 2016 - 11:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

A group of 37 professors and scholars of Intellectual Property, Information Law and Digital Economy have sent a joint letter to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) presenting their view on the ancillary copyright for press publishers as proposed by the EU Commission. They advise the UK Government to oppose this proposal for various reasons.

One is, that the publishers' expectation to increase their income is only "based upon wishful-thinking" as the experience with similar laws in Germany and Spain, where no additional income has been yielded, would clearly show.

Then, the Commission had failed to consider other options to reduce impediments to simplify enforcement like an "amendment of Article 5 of the EC Enforcement Directive, to create a presumption that a press publisher is entitled to bring proceedings to enforce the copyright in any article or other item appearing in a journal of which it is the identified publisher."

Furthermore, the Commission has overlooked that publishers' investments are already protected by the database right under Directive 96/9/EC. Also overlooked have been the additional costs such a right would cause especially to those operators who do not want to make use of their new right but who have to amend their (open-access) licenses.

Due to the lengthy duration of this right (20 years) the "social costs associated with the proposed experiment will be unnecessarily high."

The "poorly drafted" subject matter of the proposed right would diminish legal certainty because the definition of "press publication" would not only include print newspapers but also fanzines, action catalogues, blogs as well as the Rough Guide to Peru amongst others. The signees also point out other uncertainties.

In their eyes, "the proposed right is unnecessary, undesirable, would introduce an unacceptable level of uncertainty and be unlikely to achieve anything apart from adding to the complexity and cost of operating in the copyright environment."

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

Berlin state government against ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 13. Dezember 2016 - 13:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The three regional party associations of SPD, Die Linken and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, who will build the new government of the state of Berlin, have signed the coalition agreement for the next legislative period (2016-2021). Among many other things, the ancillary copyright for press publishers gets a mention. Weiter

CEIPI's opinion on a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 13. Dezember 2016 - 9:42 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On November 28, the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg has published its opinion on the European Commission's copyright reform proposal which was introduced on September 14, 2016. The opinion was written by Professor Christophe Geiger, Oleksandr Bulayenko and Giancarlo Frosio who solely focused on the proposed introduction of neighbouring rights for press publishers in EU law. In their view, the negative effects of the proposal prevail. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

Our statement on the Commission's proposal regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 6. Dezember 2016 - 14:36 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On the 20th September 2016 the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection called on all stakeholders involved to provide their opinion on the EU Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM-directive). A few weeks later we submitted our statement which also functions as a condensed overview on all critical aspects regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers. Unfortunately, at that time it had only been available in German. But now you can either download an English version (PDF) or read the full text here: Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

Bundesverfassungsgericht nimmt Klage gegen Leistungsschutzrecht nicht an   Am 24. November 2016 - 10:44 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Seit dem 1. August 2013 gilt das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger in Deutschland. Exakt ein Jahr darauf hatte Yahoo Verfassungsbeschwerde gegen das Gesetz beim Bundesverfassungsgericht in Karlsruhe eingelegt. Gestern hat das Gericht einen Beschluss vom 10. Oktober veröffentlicht, wonach die Beschwerde nicht zur Entscheidung angenommen wird. Trotzdem hat der Beschluss auch sein Gutes. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

How to solve the only specific problem of press publishers with copyright without an ancillary copyright   Am 23. November 2016 - 17:10 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

The only argument of the press publishers in their quest for an own ancillary right that seems reasonable to a certain degree is their call for facilitated enforcement. They bemoan that it is difficult to enforce rights against mass online piracy. If this is a factual problem it can be solved easily without even touching the matter of an ancillary copyright. Weiter

Berliner Landesregierung gegen Leistungsschutzrecht   Am 18. November 2016 - 14:46 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Unter dem Titel "Berlin gemeinsam gestalten. Solidarisch. Nachhaltig. Weltoffen." haben die Berliner Landesverbände von SPD, Die Linken und Bündnis 90/Die Grünen für die Legislaturperiode 2016-2012 eine Koalititonsvereinbarung getroffen. Darin findet auch das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger eine Erwähnung. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

Und sie evaluiert doch!   Am 28. Oktober 2016 - 5:30 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Aus einer Kleinen Anfrage der Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen geht hervor, dass die Bundesregierung, genauer das Bundesministerium für Justiz und Verbraucherschutz, das deutsche Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger inzwischen evaluiert. Weiter

IGEL nimmt Stellung zum LSR-Entwurf der EU-Kommission   Am 25. Oktober 2016 - 17:11 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Am 20.09.2016 hat das Bundesministerium für Justiz und Verbraucherschutz (BMJV) relevante Akteure aufgefordert, Stellungnahme zum (unter anderem) Entwurf der Kommission für die DSM-Richtlinie abzugeben. Die Frist läuft am 28.10. ab. Wir haben heute unsere Eingabe abgeschickt. Sie lautet wie folgt (siehe auch das PDF):


Europaabgeordnete warnen vor Leistungsschutzrecht   Am 25. Oktober 2016 - 13:51 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Mehrere Abgeordnete des EU-Parlaments setzen sich dafür ein, dass auch in Zukunft Informationen frei geteilt werden können. Im Rahmen der Initiative "Save the Link" warnen sie in einer Videobotschaft ausdrücklich vor den Gefahren, die ein europäisches Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger mit sich bringen würde. Weiter

Conservative and innovative press are deeply divided   Am 25. Oktober 2016 - 12:10 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The ancillary copyright for press publishers is more and more often covered by German media recently. However, the choice of words differs tremendously: While conservative media worship the Holy Günther as their patron saint, the innovators identify the major risks deriving from his proposal and discuss them. Weiter

Ein tiefer Graben in der Presselandschaft   Am 20. Oktober 2016 - 14:46 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In letzter Zeit wird immer häufiger über das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger berichtet. Dabei ist ein deutlicher Unterschied in der Stoßrichtung zu erkennen: Während die konservativen Medien dem Heiligen Günther, ihrem Schutzpatron, huldigen, erkennen die Innovatoren die großen Gefahren seines Gesetzvorschlags. Weiter

Achtung, Achtung! Oettinger ist nicht parteiisch!   Am 20. Oktober 2016 - 10:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Er gibt nicht auf. EU-Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger hat sich 20 Journalisten nach Brüssel eingeladen, um ihnen seine Pläne für ein modernes Urheberrecht zu präsentieren. Einer der Schwerpunkte war dabei (s)ein europäisches Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger. Hier glänzte er wieder mit Aussagen, die einen nur fassungslos zurücklassen. Einen Mitschnitt seiner Aussagen in Text und Ton stellt das ZAPP-Medienmagazin des NDR bereit. Weiter

Junge Union fordert Abschaffung des Leistungsschutzrechts   Am 17. Oktober 2016 - 2:23 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In Paderborn veranstaltete die Junge Union, Jugendorganisation der CDU, am vergangenen Wochenende ihren jährlich stattfindenden Deutschlandtag. Vergleichbar mit dem Parteitag der Mutterpartei wurde über zahlreiche Anträge entschieden. Einer davon: "Antrag Nr. 146 – Kein Leistungsschutzrecht für Deutschland und Europa". Weiter

Canadian publishers demand link tax   Am 14. Oktober 2016 - 17:30 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

Canada is infected. It took some time but now it is there. The very persistent thought that already overran Germany and Spain and is currently trying to subdue the European Union. Its name: Ancillary copyright for press publishers – or just the link tax. Weiter

Debate in the Press Club Brussels: A tale about the lies of the publisher associations and the ignorance of the EU commission   Am 11. Oktober 2016 - 16:16 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Yesterday, I was invited to speak at a public debate in the Press Club in Brussels. Main topic was the Commission’s proposal on the ancillary copyright. What I heard was a bunch of lies and a good measure of ignorance. Weiter

Verlage, zeigt her eure Klicks   Am 7. Oktober 2016 - 14:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Günther Oettinger zeigte sich vor wenigen Tagen auf Twitter sehr überrascht, als Mario Sixtus und viele, viele andere erklärten, wie das Internet eigentlich funktioniert. Er konnte es nicht fassen, dass tatsächlich jemand auf den Link zu einem Snippet klickt, um den ganzen Artikel zu lesen. Woher soll er es auch wissen, wenn er nur auf die Verlage hört, die schon seit vielen Jahren für ein eigenes Leistungsschutzrecht lobbyieren. Unter dem Hashtag #trafficleaks haben jetzt mehrere Webseiten ihre Zahlen auf den Tisch gelegt. Weiter

Our new brochure is finally here!   Am 6. Oktober 2016 - 3:59 Uhr von Tom Hirche

After countless hours of work our new brochure "Ancillary Copyright for press publishers – Background and key issues" has arrived! It is easy to read and answers all relevant questions regarding an Ancillary Copyright for press publishers (AC). You can download it here for free. Weiter

Übergabe kritischer Stimmen gegen das Leistungsschutzrecht in Brüssel   Am 4. Oktober 2016 - 18:01 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Am Donnerstag den 29.09.2016 war ich in Brüssel um Abgeordneten des europäischen Parlaments eure kritischen Stimmen zum LSR zu überreichen. Es ging darum, durch einen symbolischen Akt zu zeigen, wie viele Internet-Nutzerinnen und -nutzer sich im Rahmen der Konsultation gegen ein europäisches Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger ausgesprochen haben. Weiter

Burda zieht sich aus VG Media zurück   Am 30. September 2016 - 12:59 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

Wie berichtet, macht der Burda-Verlag bei der VG Media eine Pause. Die Wahrnehmungsverträge würden zunächst ausgesetzt. Grund sei, dass sich das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger nicht durchsetzen lasse. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

"Das ist jetzt ein Witz oder??"   Am 30. September 2016 - 10:30 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Es ist immer erfreulich, wenn sich ein Politiker der öffentlichen Diskussion stellt. Gestern Abend hat EU-Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger auf Twitter versucht, sein geplantes Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger zu verteidigen. Was er da jedoch von sich gab, lässt einen nur noch verzweifeln.


Oettinger: Put your online editors to silence!   Am 28. September 2016 - 18:27 Uhr von Tom Hirche

EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger gave a speech last Monday at the annual meeting of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV). There he explicitly called on the publishing houses to create more buzz in favor of his proposed ancillary copyright for press publishers/neighbouring right/link tax meaning he wants them to shush down their online magazines. Weiter

Niggemeier: Propaganda statt Journalismus   Am 28. September 2016 - 16:53 Uhr von Tom Hirche

EU-Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger hat auf dem Jahreskongress des Bundesverbands Deutscher Presseverleger die Anwesenden dazu aufgefordert, gegen die Kritik ihrer Online-Redaktionen am Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger vorzugehen. Der Medienkritiker und Journalist Stefan Niggemeier findet das bestürzend, wenn kritische Journalisten auf Linie gebracht werden sollen. Weiter

Oettinger: Bringt die Online-Redaktionen zum Schweigen!   Am 28. September 2016 - 7:43 Uhr von Tom Hirche

EU-Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger trat am vergangenen Montag als Redner auf dem Jahreskongress des Bundesverbands Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV) auf. Dort hat er die Verlagshäuser ausdrücklich aufgefordert, mehr Stimmung für das geplante europ. Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger zu machen. Weiter