On 17 January 2018, the Romanian Ministry of Culture organised a debate on the EU copyright reform proposal. With the room full with about fifty participants, three quarters were representing press publishers, record labels and collective management associations. It seemed almost like a full-fledged campaign meeting organised for and by traditional newspapers and rightsholders organisations to rally support for Articles 11 and 13 of the Copyright Directive proposal – a support meeting coincidentally (or not) organised just prior to national officials presenting their country’s position on the copyright reform in Brussels.
More information is available in English here.
Should the EU introduce an extra copyright for news sites, restricting how we can share news online? The controversy around this plan continues to brew – this time in the Council, where the member state governments are trying to find a consensus.
Copyright discussions continue in the European institutions. On one hand, Axel Voss, the German conservative (EPP/CDU) Parliamentarian in charge of the dossier in the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs is on some sort of a stand-by while the German government forms. On the other hand, the EU Council, composed of the relevant ministers in charge of the copyright Directive proposal, is speeding up. The two worst proposals in it are the upload filter (“censorship machine”) in Article 13 and the ancillary copyright in Article 11.
In the latest documents leaked from the Council meetings there is a new definition of a type of online service, “online content sharing service provider” which would be the one affected by the censorship machine proposal (Article 13).
The coalition agreement of CDU/CSU and SPD, who could form the next German government, includes some considerations on how the IPR legislation should be developed in the EU. In particular, the agreement suggests an ancillary copyright for press publishers, as well as regulations to cover modern ways of IPR utilization. However, it remains unclear which forms exactly shall be tackled. In addition, a national strategy to strengthen Open Access shall be developed.
The EU is considering a copyright proposal that would require code-sharing platforms to monitor all content that users upload for potential copyright infringement (see the EU Commission’s proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive). The proposal is aimed at music and videos on streaming platforms, based on a theory of a “value gap” between the profits those platforms make from uploaded works and what copyright holders of some uploaded works receive. However, the way it’s written captures many other types of content, including code.