Kategorie European Parliament

Other EU Committees mostly agree with Reda's report  Am 17. Februar 2015 - 19:48 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Publikationsdatum 17.02.2015 ~ Art des Materials: Akteure: Schlagworte: Soziales System: Lizenz: 

On January 20, Julia RedaMEP for the German Pirate Party and Vice President of the Greens/EFA group, presented the draft report evaluating 2001's EU copyright directive (InfoSoc) to the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Now the other committees connected to this subject have published their opinion on this report.

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Room for interpretations could lead to Spanish conditions   Am 31. Oktober 2018 - 0:08 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Representatives of the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament are currently negotiating a compromise solution for the new Copyright Directive. Unfortunately, it can be assumed to be certain that this Directive will contain an ancillary copyright for press publishers. However, the exact wording is not final yet. The devil is in the detail as the Parliament's proposal shows.

Parliament places special emphasis on remuneration

While an EU regulation applies uniformly in all member states at the time of its entry into force, EU directives must be transposed into national law by each member state within a certain period of time. If the Directive is not sufficiently concrete at one point and therefore offers too much room for interpretations, it can easily lead to different transposition by the Member States. The example of the European Parliament's proposal for a directive on ancillary copyright for press publishers shows just how easily this can happen and how dramatic the consequences can be.

According to the proposal, recital 32 shall read: "Such protection [of press publishers] should be effectively guaranteed through the introduction, in Union law, of rights related to copyright for the reproduction and making available to the public of press publications in respect of digital uses in order to obtain fair and proportionate remuneration for such uses. [...] In addition, the listing in a search engine should not be considered as fair and proportionate remuneration." (emphasis added)

Additionally, Article 11 shall read: "Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC so that they may obtain fair and proportionate remuneration for the digital use of their press publications by information society service providers." (emphasis added)

Dangerous room for interpretations

The Parliament's proposal makes it clear that press publishers should receive financial compensation from search engine providers in particular when they display links to publishers' websites. Member States, however, could now come up with the idea that this goal could be achieved most effectively if publishers could not waive their right to remuneration. Only the amount of the remuneration claim would then still be negotiable, but not its assertion. To justify their interpretation, the Member States could refer to the German ancillary copyright which does not provide for an obligation to pay remuneration and has failed (albeit for a variety of reasons). So far, almost all publishers in Germany have granted Google a free licence for use.

Now this interpretation result is by no means mandatory. But it is also far from being completely absurd. The mere fact that different interpretations are possible poses a great danger that must not be underestimated or minimized.

Dramatic consequences

What a remuneration obligation leads to could and still can be observed in Spain. The Spanish ancillary copyright for press publishers provides for exactly such an obligation since its introduction in 2014. As a reaction to this, Google News was closed which has severely affected small publishers in particular. As they are less known, their websites are less often visited deliberately. That's why they are much more dependent on redirects by search engines, social media & Co. than the big news portals.

In addition, it is not clear at what word or character length the protection by the ancillary copyright law applies. The European Council proposes an exception for "insubstantial parts of a press publication". However, the decision as to what is to be understood by this shall be left to the Member States. The German copyright law already provides for an exception for "individual words or smallest text excerpts". What does that mean in practice? Nobody can say for sure. This has been the subject of controversy for years with no result.

The same legal uncertainty paired with a payment obligation would probably be the end for online services that prepare press products in a user-friendly way. Small providers would not be able to take this legal and financial risk and would be pushed out of the European market (see the open letter by the Coalition of Innovation Media Publishers). This has already happened in Spain (and even in Germany). Start-ups would no longer occur because of the high investment costs. And whether Google or Facebook would pay can be strongly doubted due to the lack of willingness so far.

In the end, only the big publishers will benefit while small publishers, innovative start-ups and ultimately the citizens will lose out.

And by the way, a payment obligation is absolutely incompatible with open licenses such as Creative Commons.

Urgent need for change

For this reason, such ambiguities must not be allowed to appear in the final text. It must be made clear that publishers are free to waive their right to remuneration. It is therefore essential to include a corresponding addition.

 

The internet has lost   Am 12. September 2018 - 14:09 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, the European Parliament held its second vote on copyright in the digital single market and it took the worst possible outcome. Amendments to delete article 11 altogether or to alter it into a rule of legal presumption were rejected by a large majority. Instead, MEP Axel Voss's latest proposal for an ancillary copyright for press publishers was adopted. The same goes for his proposal that aims to introduce upload filters in the EU. Weiter

JURI report gets rejected by EP majority   Am 5. Juli 2018 - 17:51 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

It was only two weeks ago, when the JURI Committee had finally adopted its report on the upcoming copyright reform. Today, it was rejected by the majority of the European Parliament that withdrew MEP Axel Voss's negotiation mandate. An important step on the way to prevent the EU from causing severe damage to the free flow of information. Weiter

JURI supports link tax but plenary can still fix copyright   Am 21. Juni 2018 - 16:21 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last Wednesday on June 20, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) voted on the Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive. Unfortunately, the ancillary copyright for press publishers as stipulated in article 11 was adopted with only little suggested changes. But it looks like this has not been the final vote yet. Weiter

MEP Voss presents the most extreme proposal for a link tax (so far)   Am 28. März 2018 - 23:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

We have called the publisher's right as proposed by the EU Commission in September 2016 an "ancillary copyright on steroids" – for good reasons! Now MEP Axel Voss has published his proposal for the European Parliament's position which is so extreme and destructive, not even the Incredible Hulk would dare to pick a fight. Weiter

European Parliament's study suggests abandonment of link tax   Am 13. Oktober 2017 - 10:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Now that is some good news! An independent study reviewing the publisher's right a.k.a. link tax that had been requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has just been published this week. It confirms once and for all what we and others were saying for quite some time now: the link tax will be harmful and should therefore be abandoned right away. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

IMCO supports link tax – several MEPs did not attend the vote   Am 8. Juni 2017 - 20:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

This morning, the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive (2016/0280(COD)) as the first of five committees. The outcome is of great significance to the other votes that are yet to come. Unfortunately, the ancillary copyright for press publishers is still very much alive. Weiter

The "Alternative Compromise" could hardly be worse   Am 31. Mai 2017 - 19:20 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In her just published blog post, MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) draws attention to the alarming developments within the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee. Instead of joining the committee's internal negotiations, Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont (EPP) is currently gathering support for his own "Alternative Compromise Amendment on Publisher’s Right" which is the worst we have seen so far in this debate. Weiter

French MEP pushes for an ancillary copyright on snippets   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 19:59 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Today, the Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) in the European Parliament issued a draft opinion on the DSM directive proposal. Here, the rapporteur, French MEP Marc Joulaud (conservatives, EPP), proposes bluntly the protection (i.e. monopolisation) of even the smallest parts of press publications. He tries to disguise his proposal, however, as a step towards the user’s interests. Weiter

Open Letter to EC and EP (UPDATE)   Am 25. November 2015 - 18:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

As part of a large coalition we have co-signed two open letters addressed to the European Commission as well as the European Parliament informing them about our concerns regarding the Commission's approach on copyright affairs. Weiter

Other EU Committees tend to agree with Reda's report   Am 17. Februar 2015 - 21:46 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On January 20, Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party and Vice President of the Greens/EFA group, presented the draft report evaluating 2001's EU copyright directive (InfoSoc) to the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Now the other committees concerned with this subject have published their views on the report. Weiter