5 December 2017Copyright

Copyright directive talks on verge of causing ‘irreparable damage’

Negotiations on the EU copyright directive for the Digital Single Market are on the verge of “causing irreparable damage” to Europe, more than 80 organisations have claimed.

The organisations, including the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), warned the EU Competitiveness Council that the negotiations could damage Europe’s “fundamental rights, economy, competitiveness, education, research, innovation, creativity and culture”.

The CCIA is a lobbying group that represents technology companies including Google, Amazon and Samsung.

On Thursday, November 30, the associations sent a letter, claiming that they had serious concerns about the discussions.

The note to the Council also contained a list of 29 letters and analyses published by European stakeholders and experts since the publication of the European Commission’s reform proposal in September 2016. The materials referred to the neighbouring right and copyright upload filters, among others.

The neighbouring right for news publishers, which could charge services like Google for displaying parts of a work in search results, was one of the most controversial aspects of the proposal.

Maud Sacquet, senior policy manager at CCIA, said: “Recent negotiations seem to rewrite the legal foundation of the internet every two weeks. CCIA urges European countries to put the copyright reform back on the right track.”

Another part of the proposal aims to clamp down on copyright infringement by forcing online platforms that allow users to upload content to work with content providers to filter uploads for infringing content.

The EFF said that the LIBE (Civil Liberties) Committee of the European Parliament was the last remaining committee to deliver its recommendations on the proposal for copyright upload filters.

In November, LIBE recommended that the mandate for such filters be removed in favour of obligations to take “appropriate and proportionate methods” to limit the sharing of infringing content.

“This reflects a growing consensus that there is no way to rely on automatic filtering to sift out copyright-infringing content from legitimate speech,” stated the EFF.

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More on this story

15 September 2016   After the European Commission announced its modernised copyright rules yesterday, WIPR spoke to several intellectual property lawyers about the major takeaways from the new regime
24 October 2018   Articles 11 and 13 of the recently-passed copyright directive are “ill-considered and should not be EU law”, according to a letter shared by the Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday.
13 November 2018   The CEO of YouTube has expressed concern about the European Parliament’s “unrealistic” approach to modernising copyright rules in the EU.