Kategorie European Parliament

Other EU Committees mostly agree with Reda's report  Am 17. Februar 2015 - 20:48 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Publikationsdatum 17.02.2015 ~ Art des Materials: Akteure: Schlagworte: Soziales System: Lizenz: 

On January 20, Julia RedaMEP for the German Pirate Party and Vice President of the Greens/EFA group, presented the draft report evaluating 2001's EU copyright directive (InfoSoc) to the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Now the other committees connected to this subject have published their opinion on this report.

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MEP Voss presents the most extreme proposal for a link tax (so far)   Am 29. März 2018 - 0:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

We have called the publisher's right as proposed by the EU Commission in September 2016 an "ancillary copyright on steroids" – for good reasons! Now MEP Axel Voss has published his proposal for the European Parliament's position which is so extreme and destructive, not even the Incredible Hulk would dare to pick a fight.

Extension of the new right

Executives of press agencies will read the proposal with a big smile on their faces as their lobbying work has finally paid off: MEP Axel Voss wants to add them to the beneficiaries of the link tax. This is despite the fact that in their open letter the press agencies have made it clear that to them even the mere hyperlink will undoubtedly be covered by the new right – a case of intentionally breaking the internet.

The extension does not stop here. Additionally, the scope of the publisher's right shall be widened by incorporating more exclusive rights, i. e. rental and lending rights as well as the right for the distribution of press products. These extensions would inter alia drag libraries into the scope. Libraries lend or rent content to their users. The publisher right would add another layer of rights that they had to clear and pay remunerations for when they want to use press publications. It comes with no surprise that an explanation for the necessity of this stretch is nowhere to be found. The reason why the link tax in Germany has been a complete failure was not that press publishers were given too few rights. 

An inalienable right to remuneration will cause severe damage

Besides extending the scope of the new right which would have to be licenced, MEP Voss also added an inalienable right to remuneration to the text. In case of doubt, this levy would have to be negotiated with and paid to collecting societies. Not only is this combination of a bunch of exclusive rights with a remuneration right absurd, it will also have dramatic consequences. Even if a press publisher (or a press agency) is convinced that links to its articles eventually help its business, it still has to demand a payment for that. There will be no other choice.

It is not hard to predict what will happen next: news aggregators will shut down; search engine providers and social media platforms will delist or not allow links to news articles anymore. Maybe the large press media outlets will be spared from this adaptation, but smaller publishers will definitely suffer from this act of excessive paternalism as they will struggle to reach the public and attract readers.

This is not a vague guess but a simple repetition of what has already happened in Spain right after an inalienable link tax was introduced. Google News and other news aggregators were shut down and smaller publishers consequently experienced a harsh drop in the number of their readers. As a result, the Spanish Association of Daily Newspaper Publishers (AEDE) that had lobbied for this law demanded the national and EU authorities to step in and force Google to re-open its news aggregation service – without success.

Also, an inalienable right to remuneration causes fundamental conflicts with public licence models like Creative Commons. Against the basic idea of the "open" philosophie in Open Access, Open Content or Open Educational Resources (among others), every publisher of news will be legally forced to claim remuneration for the reuse of their content. MEP Julia Reda points out in her blog post that

"[s]uccessful innovative news companies such as eldiario, whose business model is completely based on Creative Commons, would take a hit, all in the name of 'supporting quality journalism'."

Theoretical participation in revenue

In an attempt to not only win other MEPs' approval but also of the International and the European Federation of Journalists, MEP Voss added some text to "ensure that authors [...] receive an appropriate share of the additional revenues press publishers receive". However, their share is limited to the money press publishers receive from internet service providers, i. e. search engine providers, news aggregators and social media platforms. The German publisher's right already has such a provision but over the last four and a half years since its introduction, the authors did not receive a single Euro until this day. This is due to various still ongoing legal trials that have cost the publishers millions while at the same time they were hardly making any money off their new right. In combination with the proposal for an Art. 12, according to which authors shall in the future have to share their levies with the publishers, the authors will end up with less in their pockets after the copyright reform than they had before. 

Contact your MEP!

If you are asking yourself what you can do about his (and even if not), simply go to OpenMedia's Save the Link website and use their e-mail form to write your MEP to stand up against the link tax. You can also write your own text and add a few words why MEP Axel Voss' proposal will be extremely harmful and should thus be rejected. In case you prefer to directly call your MEP, you can use another Save the Link website that will help you with that.

European Parliament's study suggests abandonment of link tax   Am 13. Oktober 2017 - 11:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Now that is some good news! An independent study reviewing the publisher's right a.k.a. link tax that had been requested by the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has just been published this week. It confirms once and for all what we and others were saying for quite some time now: the link tax will be harmful and should therefore be abandoned right away. Weiter

Weitere Infos zu dieser News

IMCO supports link tax – several MEPs did not attend the vote   Am 8. Juni 2017 - 21:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

This morning, the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive (2016/0280(COD)) as the first of five committees. The outcome is of great significance to the other votes that are yet to come. Unfortunately, the ancillary copyright for press publishers is still very much alive. Weiter

The "Alternative Compromise" could hardly be worse   Am 31. Mai 2017 - 20:20 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In her just published blog post, MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) draws attention to the alarming developments within the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee. Instead of joining the committee's internal negotiations, Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont (EPP) is currently gathering support for his own "Alternative Compromise Amendment on Publisher’s Right" which is the worst we have seen so far in this debate. Weiter

French MEP pushes for an ancillary copyright on snippets   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 20:59 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Today, the Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) in the European Parliament issued a draft opinion on the DSM directive proposal. Here, the rapporteur, French MEP Marc Joulaud (conservatives, EPP), proposes bluntly the protection (i.e. monopolisation) of even the smallest parts of press publications. He tries to disguise his proposal, however, as a step towards the user’s interests. Weiter

Open Letter to EC and EP (UPDATE)   Am 25. November 2015 - 19:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

As part of a large coalition we have co-signed two open letters addressed to the European Commission as well as the European Parliament informing them about our concerns regarding the Commission's approach on copyright affairs. Weiter

Other EU Committees tend to agree with Reda's report   Am 17. Februar 2015 - 22:46 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On January 20, Julia Reda, MEP for the German Pirate Party and Vice President of the Greens/EFA group, presented the draft report evaluating 2001's EU copyright directive (InfoSoc) to the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament. Now the other committees concerned with this subject have published their views on the report. Weiter