Julia Reda: Without cryptography, every email you send and every word you type into a form on a website can easily be intercepted, read and even modified. Encryption is essential to protect the integrity of the communications of individuals and businesses in Europe.
And in the light of the abject failure of the European Union to stop the mass surveillance of its people politically, it is the best available (though unsatisfactory) way to safeguard our rights.
The draft European Parliament report on the InfoSoc Directive, sometimes also called the Copyright Directive, has generated an enormous wave of responses. It was presented by the Member of the Parliament (MEP) responsible for leading the file, Julia Reda, to the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) on 20 January.
What are the next steps and what is the report’s ultimate significance? After all of the relevant Committees have transmitted their opinions, JURI will vote on the report and transmit it to the Plenary. If it is adopted there, it becomes a non-legislative and non-binding resolution in which the Parliament states its current position on certain matters of copyright reform. The Parliament hereby communicates to the Commission what it expects of future copyright legislation. This in turn can shape the Commission’s proposal for copyright reform, which is expected within this year. The Parliament has a notoriously short memory, especially of its own positions, so it will not consider itself bound by anything it decides upon now.
EU copyright rules are maladapted to the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet, an upcoming European Parliament own-initiative report evaluating 2001’s copyright directive finds. The draft released today by Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party, lays out an ambitious reform agenda for the overhaul of EU copyright announced in the Commission’s 2015 work programme.
This year, a reform of the Copyright-legislation will be started. On behalf of the European Parliament, Julia Reda is currently working on an evaluation of the current Copyright directive. The stakeholders who are loudest so far are the collective societies but creators themselves are heard much too seldom.
Do the plans of the collecting societies really reflect the interests of all artists? Are they satisfied with the legislative status quo? Do they really want to re-negotiate the rights for their works for each country or would they prefer a single European market? Are they really opposed to remixes? What would their priorities be when it comes to updating the copyright framework?
German pirate MEP Julia Reda presented her report on copyright reform to journalists on Monday (19 January). According to her, there should be one copyright law that applies to all EU member states, fixing the legal “absurdities” of the current regime.
Article 5(3(h) of the InfoSoc Directive allows Member States to introduce into their own national copyright laws an exception to the rights of reproduction, communication/making available to the public and distribution to allow "use of works, such as works of architecture or sculpture, made to be located permanently in public places" - the so called freedom of panorama.
In light of a possible reform of the legislative framework in the area of copyright, the draft Report prepared by MEP and Pirate Party member Julia Reda on the implementation of the InfoSoc Directive mentioned freedom of panorama be made mandatory (rather than merely optional) for Member States to implement into their own legal regimes.
However, the amended version of the Report, which has received the approval of the Legal Committee of the European Parliament, currently includes a recommendation that "the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in public places