Kategorie vote

LIBE Committee remains silent on link tax   Am 21. November 2017 - 0:00 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has finally voted on its opinion on the Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive. While problematic provisions for mandatory content filtering have been tackled, the Committee did not take any stand when it came to the ancillary copyright for press publishers aka the link tax.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing given that some hardliners tried to hijack the Committee by suddenly tabling amendments that were strongly in favour of the link tax. The LIBE Committee is responsible for citizen's human rights and particularly deals with data protection. Therefore, it had been agreed on in the past to solely focus on topics that fall into the Committee's sphere––which the link tax obviously does not. But MEPs like Axel Voss (EPP, Germany), Gérard Deprez (ALDE, Belgium) or Louis Michel (ALDE, Belgium) simply ignored this agreement and prepared a total of 12 amendments that would turn the already terrible proposal for a link tax into an even darker nightmare from an internet user's perspective.

Fortunately, some MEPs had come to reason before the vote started and withdrew their rogue amendments. In the case of the MEPs who did not follow this lead, their amendments have either not been voted on or were rejected by the majority. So in the end, the compromise amendments as prepared by rapporteur MEP Michał Boni plus two additional amendments all dealing with content filtering were adopted 36:5 (3 abstentions).

We are pleased to see that the Committee has focused on what its competencies are, although it "should have stepped up to truly protect free expression and deleted the flawed Article entirely", as OpenMedia’s Digital Rights Specialist Ruth Coustick-Deal said in reaction to today's vote.

IMCO supports link tax – several MEPs did not attend the vote   Am 8. Juni 2017 - 20:06 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

Reda report adopted! Amendment rejected!   Am 9. Juli 2015 - 18:40 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, the European Parliament voted on MEP Julia Reda's report on the implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC (InfoSoc). The results were clear.

The plenary adopted the report with a broad majority (445/549). Now the upcoming copyright reform by Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger cannnot only focus on cross-border trade but also on reforming exceptions to copyright protection. Furthermore, the amendment tabled by Angelika Niebler (EPP) was rejected! She - backed by 81 other MEPs - tried to insert text into the report calling for the introduction of an EU-wide ancillary copyright for press publishers. Fourtunately, the effort was shut down with 379 votes against. Although 142 MEPs demonstrated that they still have not understood the pure nonsense of such an ancillary copyright, the vote is another victory on keeping the right to link.

Or als Julia Reda puts it:

This should be the final blow to the idea of introducing at the European level a law to cross-finance news publishers which has already failed spectacularly in Germany and Spain.

We can only hope that she is right. As the report is non-binding and Oettinger has not come to a final conclusion, an ancillary copyright for press publishers is still not off the cards. The fight is not over yet!

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