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Aktuelles

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.

Link tax stays the same

The so-called DSM-directive was proposed by the European Commission in last year's September. For a few months now it has been and is still extensively discussed in several committees of the European Parliament. However, the various MEPs of the IMCO Committee could not agree on an own opinion in terms of the ancillary copyright for press publishers a.k.a. the link tax.

Each and every of the 22 submitted amendments dealing with article 11 of the Commission's proposal – this article contains the ancillary copyright – were rejected. That was done despite the fact that Rapporteur MEP Catherine Stihler (S&D) prepared a sound and balanced draft opinion of the IMCO Committee. It was aimed at ditching article 11 completely and backed by every political group except the EPP. Nevertheless, Stihler's draft opinion was unfortunately not adopted with the result that the IMCO Committee now supports the introduction of a link tax almost exactly as the European Commission had proposed it.

Little joy and plenty sorrow

Although article 11 itself remains as terrible as it has always been, a few other amendments have been adopted. The MEPs at least deleted the retroactive application of the ancillary copyright which was provided for by article 18. They also expanded the scope of the exception provision in recital 33 to now cover "acts of a computation referencing or indexing system such as hyperlinking".

But that is enough with the good news. What the MEPs also agreed on was to change recital 31 so that it now heavily criticizes news aggregators and search engines for posing "a severe threat to the employment and fair remuneration of journalists and the future of media pluralism". A German regional court has already ruled that the relation between search engines and publishers is a win-win-situation and publishing houses have clarified that they would profit from digital platforms. And what happens when they are forced to shut down could be watched in Spain after the introduction of their link tax.

Even more shockingly, due to the agreed on change of recital 32 the whole scope of article 11 gets extended to cover not only digital uses but also print. This is just absurd. If the publishers really only want to be enabled to more easily fight alleged massive online piracy, a mere presumption of representation would have been completely enough.

How could this happen?

The IMCO Committee has a total of 40 members plus another 40 substitute members. Still, the voting result only lists 19 votes for, seven against and six abstentions. Luckily, MEP Pascal Arimont's (EPP) completely unreasonable "alternative compromise" was not even put to vote as it did not find the necessary support. But there had been several amendments that could have been adopted if more MEPs were there. The complete left GUE/NGL group and half of the ECR group were missing. They might have good reasons for their absence, but in many cases it has been a very tight vote so that the presence of only a few more members could have made the difference. However, the outcome clearly shows that much more work needs to be done to convince our representatives to not destroy the internet but to enact fair and reasonable rules for the good of the people of Europe.

New paper discusses publisher's right – "unnecessary and dangerous"   Am 1. Juni 2017 - 17:25 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

With the support of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the European Policy Centre (EPC) has published a new discussion paper titled "Rewarding quality journalism or distorting the Digital Single Market? The case for and against neighbouring rights for press publishers". It is divided into an economy analysis (part I) and a legal analysis (part II).

The economic goals will not be achieved

After specifying the Commission's motives for introducing a new publisher's right ("fairer marketplace", "value sharing", financing quality journalism etc.), the paper explains why the proposed goals will not be achieved. The examples from Germany and Spain showed that economic benefits had not been brought "to any of the actors involved (creators, publishers, search engines, news aggregators or users)." They also had not supported quality journalism and even had led to a reduction of competition, consumer "surpluses" and media plurality. Therefore, the authors fear a decrease of freedom of expression, media pluralism and incentives for investment in the media sector at EU level.

It is also pointed out that the regulations in Germany and Spain have not been a "source of revenue for the industry". With that said "it would be a risky experiment to act at EU level in the hope of getting different results with a similar legislative instrument." This is why the authors recommend to consider economic measures instead of legal instruments like "reduced taxes (e.g. VAT) for the publishing sector."

Confusion and uncertainty

The paper strongly criticizes that the draft proposal does not clarify the relation between the journalist's copyright and the publisher's new right. This would create "a risk that employees or freelance authors will lose their right to compensation. Is it really worth it?"

Also unclear is the precise subject matter of the new right:

If we take the example of a commercial phonogram, it is easy to identify the producer's right (on the fixation of the sequence of sounds), the author's right (on the musical composition) and the performer's right (on the performance). But what about here? How can we distinguish between the author's right (i.e. the journalist's right) and/or the right (s)he transfers to the press publisher) from the neighbouring right part?

In the end, the authors conclude that the publisher's right would threaten the future of online services which "would clearly have negative consequences for the pluralism of information" and consequently " might even reduce the economic benefits for all stakeholders involved."

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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

Welcome Copybuzz!   Am 10. Mai 2017 - 10:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

If you feel confused and/or want to know what is going on with copyright these and the coming days, there is a new website just for you: CopyBuzz! It was launched at this year's re:publica and is supported by the Copyright for Creativity (C4C), the coalition that seeks an informed debate on how copyright can more effectively promote innovation, access, and creativity. Weiter

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EuGH wird über deutsches Leistungsschutzrecht entscheiden   Am 10. Mai 2017 - 5:09 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Die rechtliche Auseinandersetzung zwischen Google und der VG Media wird um ein neues Kapitel ergänzt, bevor das aktuelle abgeschlossen wird. Zunächst wird der Europäische Gerichtshof (EuGH) entscheiden müssen, ob das deutsche Leistungsschutzrecht überhaupt anwendbar ist. Weiter

Streitgespräch auf der re:publica   Am 9. Mai 2017 - 15:49 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Am heutigen Dienstag diskutieren auf der Bühne 5 der re:publica Dr. Till Kreutzer und Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner über das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger. Ohne Moderation wird es dabei zu einem offenen Schlagabtausch der Argumente kommen – wobei für uns jetzt schon feststeht, wer überzeugender sein wird. Dennoch sind wir gespannt, was Professor Höppner, einer der (sehr wenigen) Befürworter eines solchen Leistungsschutzrechtes, vortragen wird. Schaut es euch am besten live an!

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Breiter Widerstand im Europäischen Parlament gegen Presse-Leistungsschutzrecht   Am 18. April 2017 - 9:43 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Die Reform des europäischen Urheberrechts ist in vollem Gang und erreicht allmählich seine heiße Phase. Was das noch vom ehemaligen Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger (CDU) vorgeschlagene Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger angeht, zeigt sich ein breiter Widerstand über Fraktionsgrenzen hinweg. Weiter

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Evaluation nur eine Farce   Am 7. April 2017 - 10:59 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Vor über drei Jahren hat sich die aktuelle Bundesregierung in ihren Koalitionsvertrag geschrieben, das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger zu evaluieren. Vergangenen Oktober kam durch eine Kleine Anfrage der Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN ans Licht, dass der Evaluierungsprozess endlich eingeleitet wurde. Mit einer weiteren Kleinen Anfrage hat man sich nun nach dem aktuellen Stand erkundet – und wird beim Lesen der Antwort nur enttäuscht. Weiter

Opposition against link tax gets big ally from Spain   Am 24. März 2017 - 19:44 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Again and again the big (mainly German) publishing houses claim that an ancillary copyright for press publishers will do great good to their industry as a whole. They repeat their mantra despite the fact that several publishers are explicitly rejecting the introducing of such a right since this idea emerged in Germany a few years ago. Now, at a time when the European Parliament prepares to stop the Commission's plans, a major Spanish publisher joins those "rebels". Weiter

"Urheberrecht geht alle an" – IGEL im Radio   Am 22. März 2017 - 16:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Im Rahmen der Sendereihe "Radio Dispositiv" hat sich Herbert Gnauer mit IGEL-Gründer Dr. Till Kreutzer ausführlich über das Urheberrecht in der digitalen Welt und die Reformpläne der Europäischen Kommission unterhalten. Die Folge kann man sich hier kostenlos anhören und bei Bedarf auch herunterladen. Weiter

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Official version of Comodini report published   Am 20. März 2017 - 19:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last Friday, the official version of MEP Therese Comodini Cachia's (EPP, Malta) draft of her report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) was published. Comodini is the elected rapporteur of the leading committee for legal affairs (JURI). Although some minor changes have already been made compared to the version that was leaked a few days ago, the most important points have all been kept. The deadline for tabling amendments is March 30th. Weiter

Stop the censorship machine!   Am 13. März 2017 - 18:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Besides the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers a.k.a. the link tax, the European Commission also wants internet platforms to apply automated upload filtering technologies to all of their user's content. Together with 27 other civil society organisations, we have signed an open letter addressed to the European Institutions and urge them to delete this proposal. Weiter

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Legal Affairs committee also demands to abolish ancillary copyright   Am 8. März 2017 - 21:02 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

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400 pages of new insights   Am 24. Februar 2017 - 19:48 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Months ago, Matthias Schindler from the office of MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) has submitted a freedom of information request to the European Commission and just a few days ago he finally received 400 pages (!) of secrets surrounding the proposed European ancillary copyright for press publishers/the publisher's right. POLITICO's Chris Spillane has identified numerous "things you need to know". Weiter

European Parliament committee demands to abolish ancillary copyright   Am 24. Februar 2017 - 14:09 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Today the draft opinion of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) was published. Here, rapporteur Catherine Stihler (S&D Group) claims a number of sensible and important amendments to the disappointing Commission’s draft DSM directive. Most notably she demands to ditch the ancillary copyright for press publishers (ac) once and for all. Weiter

Leading European copyright scholars fundamentally criticise the ancillary copyright   Am 23. Februar 2017 - 18:32 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

As of today, a broad coalition of European copyright scholars wrote an open letter to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It openly opposes Art. 11 (ancillary copyright) and 13 (mandatory content filtering). The letter’s first signatories consist of a number of the leading academic experts on copyright. They represent some of the most respected research centres in Europe that deal with copyright research from legal, economical and other perspectives. 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

New tariff will kill Spanish aggregators   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 9:37 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

Within the last couple of months, it has been very quiet about the Spanish link tax which aims to charge content aggregators a fee if they publish snippets of a news article. As a consequence, after this law was passed, Google News Spain, the main target of this measure, was shut down in 2014. But now the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO) has initiated a new round of negotiations with several affected online services. The figures they ask for are shocking. Weiter

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German District Court considers ancillary copyright null and void   Am 8. Februar 2017 - 13:50 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

In an oral hearing at the district court of Berlin on Tuesday, the presiding judge held that the German ancillary copyright (ac) had to be notified by the German Government. If the court clings to this assessment the German ac could be declared ineffective, null and void. Weiter

Landgericht Berlin hält das LSR für unwirksam   Am 7. Februar 2017 - 18:28 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Die heutige mündliche Verhandlung vor dem Landgericht in Sachen VG Media gegen Google begann mit einem Paukenschlag: Nach dem vorsitzenden Richter Scholz neigt die Kammer zu der Annahme, dass die Bundesregierung das deutsche LSR bei der EU hätte notifizieren müssen. Träfe das zu, wäre das LSR unwirksam und alle Verfahren würden ins Leere laufen. Weiter

"Grossly disproportionate" – New study on publisher's right   Am 17. Januar 2017 - 12:14 Uhr von Tom Hirche

OpenForum Europe (OFE) has commissioned Dr. Mireille van Eechoud, who is Professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law, to conduct a study on the ancillary copyright for publishers as proposed by the European Commission. It is very carefully written and pays special attention to the freedom of expression, the special effects on authors and open data/science. Weiter

Snippets not only may but will be illegal   Am 16. Januar 2017 - 8:19 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament held an event labelled "Hearing on Copyright". One of the speakers was Giuseppe Abbamonte, the Commission's director of media policy at the DG CONNECT, who said that we might all act illegally when we share articles, as reported by Chris Spillane from POLITICO. Weiter

Ansip übernimmt Oettingers Aufgaben   Am 23. Dezember 2016 - 5:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Ende Oktober 2016 wurde bekannt, dass EU-Kommissar Günther Oettinger neuer EU-Haushaltskommissar werden soll. Offen blieb die Frage, wer dann das Ressort für digitale Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft führen wird. Darauf gibt es jetzt eine Antwort. Weiter

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British top scholars against European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 17. Dezember 2016 - 12:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

A group of 37 professors and scholars of Intellectual Property, Information Law and Digital Economy have sent a joint letter to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) presenting their view on the ancillary copyright for press publishers as proposed by the EU Commission. They advise the UK Government to oppose this proposal for various reasons. Weiter

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Berlin state government against ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 13. Dezember 2016 - 14:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The three regional party associations of SPD, Die Linken and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, who will build the new government of the state of Berlin, have signed the coalition agreement for the next legislative period (2016-2021). Among many other things, the ancillary copyright for press publishers gets a mention. Weiter

CEIPI's opinion on a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 13. Dezember 2016 - 10:42 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On November 28, the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg has published its opinion on the European Commission's copyright reform proposal which was introduced on September 14, 2016. The opinion was written by Professor Christophe Geiger, Oleksandr Bulayenko and Giancarlo Frosio who solely focused on the proposed introduction of neighbouring rights for press publishers in EU law. In their view, the negative effects of the proposal prevail. Weiter

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Our statement on the Commission's proposal regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 6. Dezember 2016 - 15:36 Uhr von Tom Hirche

On the 20th September 2016 the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection called on all stakeholders involved to provide their opinion on the EU Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM-directive). A few weeks later we submitted our statement which also functions as a condensed overview on all critical aspects regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers. Unfortunately, at that time it had only been available in German. But now you can either download an English version (PDF) or read the full text here: Weiter

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Bundesverfassungsgericht nimmt Klage gegen Leistungsschutzrecht nicht an   Am 24. November 2016 - 11:44 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Seit dem 1. August 2013 gilt das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger in Deutschland. Exakt ein Jahr darauf hatte Yahoo Verfassungsbeschwerde gegen das Gesetz beim Bundesverfassungsgericht in Karlsruhe eingelegt. Gestern hat das Gericht einen Beschluss vom 10. Oktober veröffentlicht, wonach die Beschwerde nicht zur Entscheidung angenommen wird. Trotzdem hat der Beschluss auch sein Gutes. Weiter

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How to solve the only specific problem of press publishers with copyright without an ancillary copyright   Am 23. November 2016 - 18:10 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

The only argument of the press publishers in their quest for an own ancillary right that seems reasonable to a certain degree is their call for facilitated enforcement. They bemoan that it is difficult to enforce rights against mass online piracy. If this is a factual problem it can be solved easily without even touching the matter of an ancillary copyright. Weiter

Berliner Landesregierung gegen Leistungsschutzrecht   Am 18. November 2016 - 15:46 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Unter dem Titel "Berlin gemeinsam gestalten. Solidarisch. Nachhaltig. Weltoffen." haben die Berliner Landesverbände von SPD, Die Linken und Bündnis 90/Die Grünen für die Legislaturperiode 2016-2012 eine Koalititonsvereinbarung getroffen. Darin findet auch das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger eine Erwähnung. Weiter

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