Increasing number of rightholders reject EU copyright reform

Am 8. Februar 2019 - 19:02 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The Romanian Council Presidency still tries to reach a compromise with the Member States on the planned directive on copyright reform. Meanwhile, more and more influential rightholders are now denying their support, putting additional pressure on politicians.

Rejection from large parts of the media industry

Yesterday alone two open letters from the creative industry (here & here) have reached the EU negotiators from the Commission, Council and Parliament. The signatories include heavyweights such as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and Film Distributors Associations (FIAD). In their letters, they completely reject the current draft directive's suitability for achieving the objectives it is supposed to pursue. Therefore, the unequivocal demand is that there should be no directive rather than a bad one.

Additionally, it also became public yesterday that Bertelsmann, one of the world's largest media companies, is now rejecting the planned directive as well. Spiegel-Online reports that behind the scenes attempts are being made to persuade MEPs to reject the reform.

Journalists demand equal treatment

In addition, the journalists seem to have finally noticed that they were only being tied up in front of the carts in order to strengthen the interests of others. In a press release published today, both the European and the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) vehemently oppose the current draft directive and, in particular, Article 11, which is intended to contain an ancillary copyright for press publishers.

Anyone who previously thought that journalists and press publishers would fight side-by-side for this new right has now been taught better. Both parties have pursued completely different interests from the very beginning. However, the gap between them has never been as wide as it is now.

Only press publishers left

As a result, a large number of those who were supposed to benefit from the Copyright Directive now reject it altogether and demand it to be buried. Only the major press publishing houses have not yet denied their support. They still seem to cling to the misconception that a new law would solve their financial problems. Looking a little closer, however, the first hit has already been taken, since Gruner + Jahr, one of the largest publishing houses in Europe, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann.

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