Kategorie Jean-Marie Cavada

EP Working Group should respect the full range of views  Am 26. März 2015 - 10:27 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Publikationsdatum 26.03.2015 ~ Art des Materials: Akteure: Schlagworte: Soziales System: Lizenz: 

Last week, several signatories sent an open letter to the coordinator of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform at the European Parliament Jean-Marie Cavada. It calls for an inclusion of the civil society in the process to ensure a balanced representation of views.

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Voss still ignores criticism and does not move an inch   Am 10. September 2018 - 20:13 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Although summer break has just ended, the next important vote at EU level is already coming up. Members of the European Parliament must agree on a common position on the proposed copyright reform. A key role here is played by MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany), rapporteur on the JURI Committee, who despite all criticism is unwilling to back away from his proposal.

Background

At the end of June 2018, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (JURI) had approved the amendments proposed by Axel Voss on the European Commission's proposal for an ancillary copyright for press publishers by a narrow majority. He was also given the mandate to negotiate the copyright reform with the Commission and the European Council. But just two weeks later, the plenary of the European Parliament rejected his amendments altogether and withdrew the mandate.

As a consequence, all 751 MEPs were given the opportunity to table their own amendments to the proposed copyright directive. The deadline had ended on 5 September at 2 p.m. (CEST). The final vote will take place during the plenary session on 12 September.

Unclear wording, no gain of knowledge

In the past, Axel Voss had revised his amendment to the ancillary copyright for press publishers in Article 11 of the Commission's proposal several times before having it finally voted on in the JURI Committee. Now he suggests another change that could not have been more minimal.

In his original amendment as it was adopted by the JURI Committee, it is stated that an ancillary copyright for press publishers should not extend to hyperlinks. However, such a wording is far too vague as it is not clear whether it only covers the "naked" link or also a small ecerpt taken from the linked article to describe where the link leads to.

The new proposal now seeks to explicitly exclude "mere hyperlinks accompanied by individual words" from the scope of the ancillary copyright. Such wording will not bring any clarity. How many are "individual words"? Does it include whole (short) sentences? If not, which scenario did Voss have in mind when individual and independent keywords are not covered by the ancillary copyright law from the outset? Or does the wording imply that even a single word taken from the press article is covered by this new right? Although this is unlikely, a precise answer cannot be given: It is absolutely unclear what this change is supposed to achieve.

History is about to repeat itself

Nevertheless, Voss receives support from MEP Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France). The shadow rapporteur additionally proposes that the new ancillary copyright "shall not apply to uses of insubstantial parts of a press publication, including individual words or very short excerpts." An almost identical exception has been made to the German ancillary copyright for press publishers. But even fice years later, nobody can say with legal certainty what this actually means. There has since been an enormous amount of costly litigation over the correct interpretation with no end in sight. Regardless of the outcome, millions of euros will have been spent for legal proceedings by then in Germany alone. This money could have been invested in much better projects than this "unrealistic nonsense law".

Criticism goes in one ear and out the other

It is incomprehensible why Voss and his fellows strive for a repeat of this debacle and resist the broad criticism so stubbornly. They just seem to not care when Voss's EPP colleague and chairman of the JURI Committee Pavel Svoboda (EPP, Czech Republic) slashed the ancillary copyright for press publishers. They also seem to ignore the open letter addressed directly to Voss and signed by over 100 MEPs from all political groups, the open letters from 25 research institutes and from more than 200 copyright experts from across the EU or the various scientific studies that have already been conducted (like the study carried out on behalf of the JURI Committee).

They all warn against the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. No matter in what form it comes, it will not eliminate the existing problems but further deepen them to the detriment of consumers, innovative companies and small publishers. There is not a single research study that comes to a different result. But the lack of substantive arguments does not seem to upset the advocates of the ancillary copyright. They shut their eyes and ears and just keep going.

Compromise already on the table

Their behaviour is not understandable especially when a reasonable counterproposal exists that was fortunately introduced by the Greens/EFA and thus will be put to vote. Instead of an ancillary copyright, the press publishers should benefit from a legal presumption. This would eliminate their problems in enforcing the rights assigned to them by authors without exposing the online and publishing industry as well as internet users to unbearable legal uncertainty. Voss's former political group colleague, the previous rapporteur of the JURI Committee for the copyright reform Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP, Malta) had already proposed this compromise months ago.

However, Voss has completely blocked this solution so far despite the fact that he himself does not seem to be convinced of his own proposal. This is proven by his statement from earlier this year which could not be more ignorant: "The ancillary copyright may not be the best idea, but it is, I think, the only one we have so far on the table to somehow improve the situation."

Appeal to reason

In the vote on 12 September you, the Members of the European Parliament, must make a decision for Europe and the Europeans. Vote against the ancillary copyright, no matter in what form it is presented to you by the proponents. It will only do harm and will not benefit anyone. Therefore, either vote in favor of completely deleting Article 11 from copyright reform or endorse the presumed solution. Europe will thank you!

 

Voss ignoriert weiterhin Kritik und ist zu keinem Kompromiss bereit   Am 6. September 2018 - 11:52 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Kaum ist die Sommerpause vorbei, steht auf EU-Ebene schon die erste wichtige Abstimmung an. Die Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments müssen sich auf eine gemeinsame Position zur geplanten Urheberrechtsreform einigen. Eine zentrale Rolle spielt dabei MdEP Axel Voss (EVP, Deutschland), zuständiger Berichterstatter im Rechtsausschuss, der trotz aller Kritik nicht bereit ist, von seinem Vorschlag abzurücken. Weiter

Rogue members try to hijack LIBE Committee   Am 14. Juni 2017 - 18:29 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Almost a month ago, in mid May 2017, the draft opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the EU-Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive has officially been published. As things just turned out, some hardliners suddenly want to amend it so that it will be strongly in favour of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

EP Working Group should respect the full range of views   Am 26. März 2015 - 12:26 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last week, several signatories sent an open letter to the coordinator of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform at the European Parliament Jean-Marie Cavada. It calls for an inclusion of the civil society in the process to ensure a balanced representation of views. Weiter

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