EU Copyright Reform

(Melissa) #1

The copyright reform conversation in the EU continues, with votes coming up in the Civil Liberties committee (LIBE) on 6 Nov., and the Legal Affairs committee (JURI) pushing their vote to Feb. 2018.

What you can do: Call your MEP.

  • Open Media’s Save the Link campaign allows EU citizens to call MEPs on the LIBE committee.
  • Mozilla’s campaign allows EU citizens to call MEPs on the JURI committee in 6 languages.

There are 3 main articles that are detrimental to the future of the internet:

Article 3: Text and Data Mining.
The draft copyright directive proposes to add an exception that would allow TDM but only for research institutions, and only for scientific research, and only when those research institutions have lawful access for the purpose of scientific research.

To be effective the TDM exception must be broader. The proposed exception is too limited to realise the benefits of TDM for competitiveness, innovation and knowledge. It should include the many other stakeholders that use mining techniques to learn, read, and educate — people like independent researchers, advocacy groups, journalists, librarians, and startups.

Article 11: Protection of Press Publications Concerning Digital Uses
The Commission has proposed introducing a new pan-European copyright for press publications, sometimes referred to as “ancillary copyright” or a “neighbouring right”, which would create new copyright for snippets of online content. That would mean anyone sharing a link with text, like a news headline or a short blurb about the article, could be charged a license fee from the publisher responsible for the content.

Article 11 should be rejected. There is no evidence that this measure works; in fact evidence points to losses on all sides from such a policy - users, small businesses, startups and even publishers themselves. This system has proved unworkable, unhelpful, and risks inflicting grave consequences on the sharing of information and knowledge online.

Article 13: Use of protected content by information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users.
This would make all open platforms liable for the actions of their users, enforce a particular type of business model (e.g. licenses), and impose mandatory filters. These mandatory filters would in practice require monitoring of everything that European citizens upload to content-sharing services from social media sites, outlets for creative expression (like YouTube, DeviantArt, SoundCloud, and Tumblr), to informational sites (like Wikipedia and the Internet Archives), to open source software repositories (like GitHub). It would be the responsibility of these services to play judge, jury, and executioner for copyright enforcement — businesses large and small could be held liable for the content their users access and share.

Article 13 should be rejected. It would greatly harm the free expression of internet users, creators and innovators who use these online platforms, as online services will be incentivised to remove or prevent user generated content altogether.