Statewatch published a draft of the Commission’s own Impact assessment on the modernisation of EU copyright rules which clearly states that the Commission will indeed propose the introduction of an EU wide ancillary copyright for news publishers.
While nobody expected the EU commission to come forward with a proposal for a literal “link tax”, the “introduction in EU law of a related right covering online uses of news publications” is exactly what civil society groups like Save the Link are criticising as a link tax.
On Wednesday, a first draft of the new Copyright Directive became public. It deals with, among other points, new and mandatory limitations to copyright (text and data mining, cross-border teaching, and preservation of cultural heritage). Furthermore, a new neighbouring copyright for publishers of news publications is about to be established at European level. The draft also contains provisions concerning the use of out-of-commerce works. The Commission further cautiously touches upon regulating video-on-demand platforms and their use of audiovisual works. Last but not least, the fair remuneration of authors and performers is part of the draft directive.
In EFF's previous piece about a leaked European impact assessment on copyright, they described how the foreshadowed changes to European copyright law would place onerous new responsibilities on Internet platforms to scan your uploaded content on behalf of large entertainment companies. EFF also described how the changes would give news publishers a new, copyright-like veto power over the publications of snippets of text from news stories, even if these are merely by way of linking to the publisher's website.
Since then, there has been a further leak; this time, of the draft text of the Directive—that is, the new law—that the European Commission proposes to introduce to enact its plans. The new leak is mostly consistent with the impact assessment, but with a little more detail. In particular, we learn that the new veto power (or "link tax") for news publishers over the online publication of snippets would last for 20 years from the date of publication of the news story.
Here EFF runs down some of the other proposed changes, including new rules to facilitate access to television broadcasts online, new copyright exceptions for education, data mining, and archival, and new measures to broaden access to out of commerce works.
The Europol work programme until the end of the year 2016 reveals that the agency’s goals are to gradually expand its surveillance capacities, to facilitate cross-border access to data, and increase the use of biometrics.
In August 2016, the German news site Netzpolitik.org leaked a document which provides an overview of Europol’s planned activities.
On 24 August, Statewatch leaked the draft Impact Assessment of the European Commission on the copyright reform. Impact Assessments are an essential part in the decision making process.
The Internet is our greatest and most egalitarian public sphere: Never before was it possible for everyone to publish their creative works worldwide, at no cost, without seeking anyone’s approval. But some want to change that.