Kategorie European Parliament

EP Working Group should respect the full range of views  Am 26. März 2015 - 9:27 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Publikationsdatum 26.03.2015 ~ Art des Materials: Akteure: Schlagworte: Soziales System: Lizenz: 

Last week, several signatories sent an open letter to the coordinator of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform at the European Parliament Jean-Marie Cavada. It calls for an inclusion of the civil society in the process to ensure a balanced representation of views.

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"Other nations should be wary of following the EU’s lead on this particular initiative."   Am 23. November 2018 - 15:37 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The European Commission, Council and Parliament are still negotiating the exact wording of an ancillary copyright for press publishers that will most likely be part of the upcoming EU Directive on copyright. If you have not yet heard about this new right or only a little and if you want to learn more about it, then Pamela Samuelson, who is the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley Law School, has just written the perfect article for you.

It starts with repeating the publishers' main arguments that had somehow convinced the EU legislature to become active. For example, they claimed to have difficulties "in proving copyright ownership in articles written by freelancers when suing search engines or news aggregators." They also complained that providers of search engines and news aggregators "are making money, either from advertising or from subscriptions, by providing members of the public with free access to their news, through links and snippets, without compensating the publishers who provided that news."

The same arguments had already been brought up in Germany and Spain a couple of years ago and had led to the passing of two laws that are similar to what is now being discussed on EU level. In Samuelson's words, "these laws have met with much less success than their proponents had hoped." The article elaborates on the still pending lawsuits in Germany, the publishers' struggles to receive any license fees at all and the harsh drop in traffic to Spanish news sites. Considering this, one could also say that these laws had failed miserably and exactly as predicted in the past.

As one example for the vast criticism, Samuelson quotes extracts from a profound statement to the EU Parliament that has been signed by over 200 European IP scholars. Nonetheless, there are many more arguments that in the end should leave no doubt that an ancillary copyright for press publishers is not just the wrong tool to reach the desired goal but it is outright dangerous to freedom of information.

But despite this criticism, the EU legislature is currently working out the final wording of the new right. The article presents the current state of internal discussions and what amendments have been proposed by the EU Parliament like "an exception for individual users to make 'legitimate private and noncommercial uses' of press content." When presenting certain provisions that might be in the final text, Samuelson rightfully highlights the vagueness and uncertainty they would spread.

Towards the end, she points out the "irony in the EU’s prospective adoption of a Directive aimed at promoting a 'digital single market', given that no one licensing entity exists from which technology firms can get an EU-wide license." Although this is indeed true, it could be easily fixed in the future. But what is much more relevant is another point Samuelson makes: "The new press publisher right would seem to impose significant transaction costs as well as licensing fees on individual bloggers, innovative startups, and small enterprises who may want to link to journalistic content from European sites." She is right. It is them as well as the smaller publishers who will have to fight for their economic survival. There is no logical basis as to how this is supposed to save (quality) journalism.

Voss still ignores criticism and does not move an inch   Am 10. September 2018 - 18:13 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Although summer break has just ended, the next important vote at EU level is already coming up. Members of the European Parliament must agree on a common position on the proposed copyright reform. A key role here is played by MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany), rapporteur on the JURI Committee, who despite all criticism is unwilling to back away from his proposal. Weiter

Introduction of Ancillary Copyright for Press Publishers now a "Question of Life and Death"   Am 31. August 2018 - 17:33 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Before the summer break in Brussels and Strasburg had officially ended, members of the European Parliament got hit by the latest lobbying campaign by press agencies and publishers. With blatant lies and twisted truths they once again called on MEPs to support the widely discussed ancillary copyright for press publishers. Supporting arguments based on actual facts are absent just like they have been in the past. Weiter

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Svoboda on link tax: "I do not see any positive consequences for anyone"   Am 7. August 2018 - 10:32 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In July 2017, the European People's Party (EPP) had adopted a joint position that fully endorses the Commission's plan for the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers (link tax). But this has not changed the fact that party members are against this new right and actively try to prevent it. With MEP Svoboda, a very influential one has publicly renewed his criticism. Weiter

JURI has adopted link tax   Am 20. Juni 2018 - 12:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today at 10:48, the JURI Committee of the European Parliament has adopted the compromise amendment of rapporteur MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) concerning article 11 with a 13:12 majority. All amendments calling for its deletion have thus been rejected. Now there is only the plenary of the European Parliament that has the power to overturn the plan of introducing an EU-wide ancillary copyright for press publishers. The fight for a free internet is not over!

Sascha Lobo: "Such a nonsense law"   Am 19. Juni 2018 - 11:03 Uhr von Redaktion

With the ancillary copyright, some publishers want to get a digital money printing machine from politicians – soon also at the EU level. How did we come to this? Weiter

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Take a minute to #SaveYourInternet   Am 12. Juni 2018 - 16:23 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In eight days, the Legal Affairs Committee will finally vote on its compromise amendment for the upcoming copyright directive. This will be followed by the whole plenum of the European Parliament voting on a common position. Your and everybody else's internet freedom is at stake. Act now, get in touch with your MEP and #SaveYourInternet. Weiter

Over 100 MEPs sign an open letter against introduction of link tax   Am 7. Juni 2018 - 12:27 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, a total of 104 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political groups published an open letter addressing MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) who is the lead Rapporteur on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market for the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee. Weiter

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Voss's changes can not cure the rotten root   Am 17. Mai 2018 - 16:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The rapporteur of the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament, MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) has updated his draft compromise amendment for Article 11, the ancillary copyright for press publishers, pushing for a vote next month. Although the proposed text is now less extreme compared to the first version from seven weeks ago, it fails to tackle the real problem. Weiter

JURI members try to water down results of their own requested study   Am 8. Dezember 2017 - 15:21 Uhr von Tom Hirche

A couple of months ago, the European Parliament’s directorate general for internal policies of the union had commissioned a study on the proposed new right for publishers. After the results were published last October, they were finally presented to members of the Legal Affairs Committee yesterday. What should have been an informing workshop turned out to be yet another opportunity for the right's supporters to shut down arguments with their lies and to cause confusion. Weiter

LIBE Committee remains silent on link tax   Am 21. November 2017 - 0:00 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has finally voted on its opinion on the Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive. While problematic provisions for mandatory content filtering have been tackled, the Committee did not take any stand when it came to the ancillary copyright for press publishers aka the link tax. Weiter

ITRE deceives itself by attacking research and open access   Am 21. Juli 2017 - 16:14 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Already three out of five EP Committees have voted on their opinion on the Commission's Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. So far it seems we are heading into a future where a European wide publisher's right will be present. One particular Committee even tries to directly attack open access publishing. Weiter

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Two more EP Committies gang up against free linking   Am 12. Juli 2017 - 10:42 Uhr von Tom Hirche

After the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on its opinion on the new Copyright Directive a month ago, it were the Committees for Culture and Education (CULT - opinion) and for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE - opinion) that both had their turns yesterday. The result: the suggestion of an even worse ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

Parliament's largest group to fully endorse Commission's proposal for a link tax   Am 9. Juli 2017 - 16:47 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The European Commission's proposal for an ancillary copyright for press publishers has received a tremendous amount of criticism from many MEPs of all groups of the European Parliament. But now the largest group, the European People's Party (EPP), has adopted a joint position that fully supports the Commission's line while ignoring the European people's voices and all academic advice. Weiter

Rogue members try to hijack LIBE Committee   Am 14. Juni 2017 - 17:29 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Almost a month ago, in mid May 2017, the draft opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the EU-Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive has officially been published. As things just turned out, some hardliners suddenly want to amend it so that it will be strongly in favour of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

Official version of Comodini report published   Am 20. März 2017 - 18:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last Friday, the official version of MEP Therese Comodini Cachia's (EPP, Malta) draft of her report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) was published. Comodini is the elected rapporteur of the leading committee for legal affairs (JURI). Although some minor changes have already been made compared to the version that was leaked a few days ago, the most important points have all been kept. The deadline for tabling amendments is March 30th. Weiter

MEPs sign Open Letter to Commission   Am 18. Dezember 2015 - 11:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

A cross-party coalition formed by over 80 MEPs has written an Open Letter to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, to European Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip as well as to European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger. They are "deeply concerned about the Commission's Communication 'Towards a modern, more European copyright framework'". Weiter

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Martin Schulz vs. Parliament   Am 6. November 2015 - 13:35 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Martin Schulz (PES), President of the European Parliament and a trained bookseller, gave a Keynote at the Publishers' Summit this Monday in Berlin. It soon became clear that he disagrees with the majority of the Parliament in the matter of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

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Last-minute amendment to Reda report!   Am 8. Juli 2015 - 21:00 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The ancillary copyright for press publishers might find its way into Julia Reda's report for a progressive copyright reform. A corresponding amendment was tabled in the last minute. Weiter

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