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Council of Ministers approves compromise on copyright reform

Am 24. Februar 2019 - 20:43 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On Wednesday, government representatives of the EU member states approved the compromise on the Copyright Directive in the Council of Ministers. The reform has thus taken another hurdle. But the big showdown is still to come.

After the negotiations between representatives of the Commission, Parliament and Council were concluded, an outcry went through social media. This was due to the regulations agreed on upload filters (Article 13) and the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers (Article 11).

The Council of Ministers, however, was quite unimpressed. While Slovenia and Belgium abstained, only Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, Finland and the Netherlands voted against the compromise. Instead of stimulating innovation, creativity, investment and the production of new content in the EU as originally promised, the reform was a step backwards.

There was hope that Germany – represented by Federal Justice Minister Katarina Barley (SPD) – would also vote against the reform. The coalition agreement between CDU/CSU and SPD rejects the use of upload filters as being disproportionate. Barley had advocated the deletion of Article 13 within the government but had ultimately been unable to convince Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU/CSU).

However, there is still one last and very promising chance to stop this reform: the final vote in the European Parliament. It is expected to take place at the end of March or the beginning of April, i.e. shortly before the upcoming European elections.

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