The European Commission promised to modernise copyright, but instead of creating a well-functioning legal framework addressing the concerns of creators and end-users it proposes to protect old business models by creating what it claims to be a ‘well-functioning marketplace’. To do so, the EC creates ‘RoboCopyright’, compelling intermediaries hosting user-uploaded content to implement content filtering technologies and handing over the content policing to the right holders. Our message to the EC: Stop ‘RoboCopyright’ and ancillary copyright, and start to focus on users and creators.
Caroline De Cock, C4C Coordinator
Following the publication of the European Commission’s (EC) proposal for a Directive on ‘Copyright in the Digital Single Market’, the C4C (C4C) coalition would like to share its outcry about the EC’s lack of ambition and the missed opportunity of this copyright review. Our 3 major concerns are – detailed overview below:
|Topic||Subtopic||C4C’s (C4C) Position|
C4C regrets that the Commission does not seem to be considering the following elements:
|Measures to achieve a well-functioning marketplace for copyright||Rights in publications – Protection of news publications concerning online uses (i.e. ‘ancillary copyright’)||
C4C is deeply worried about the Commission moving forward with the introduction of ancillary copyright at EU level (Article 11 – Recitals 31-35). We have concerns regarding the underlying logic of such an approach where, against a perceived failure from a commercial nature, the proposed remedy is one that creates new rights under the ‘copyright’ umbrella as opposed to a more ‘ex post’ approach. See our infographic.
|Rights in publications – Claims to fair compensation||
C4C has reservations about the Commission’s reasoning that publishers should be able to claim a share of the compensation for uses under exceptions (Article 12 – Recital 36).
|Certain uses of protected content by online services||
C4C considers that the Commission’s intentions in this area go beyond the scope of a copyright review, as they fundamentally affect both the e-Commerce Directive and the IPR Enforcement Directive (Article 13 – Recitals 37-39).
|Measures to adapt exceptions and limitations to the digital and cross-border||Text and data mining (TDM)||
Although having an exception on text and data mining is positive, some elements are worrisome (Article 3 – Recitals 8-13).
C4C furthermore welcomes the Commission’s intention to make this a mandatory exception and to not limit it to non-commercial uses only. See our infographic.
|Use of works and other subject-matters in digital and cross-border teaching activities||C4C welcomes a mandatory exception in this area (Article 4 – Recitals 14-17), but worries about the Commission’s plan to allow Member States to ignore and by-pass this exception through licensing schemes (Article 4 §2).|
|Preservation of cultural heritage||C4C considers that the Commission’s intention to update the exception on preservation of cultural heritage (Article 5 – Recitals 18-22) is not going beyond what was already decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Ulmer case (C-117/13). Furthermore, the Commission seems to only enable preservation of objects permanently in the collection. This could create interpretation issues as regard online material and does not recognise the collaboration efforts between cultural heritage institutions to share artworks to ensure an as wide as possible public can enjoy it. We do applaud the fact that the Commission wants to make this a mandatory exception.|
|Fair remuneration in contracts of authors and performers||Fair remuneration in contracts of authors and performers||
C4C applauds that the Commission steps up to ensure more transparency and appropriate remuneration for creators (Title IV Chapter 3 – Recitals 40-43).
However, this needs to be ensured throughout the whole value chain in the various creative industries. We stress the need to focus on the whole of the value chain, because the Commission has focused on the so-called ‘value-gap’ (Recitals 37-39) in reference to online services, without acknowledging that creators often do not get a fair deal form their recording companies or publishing house in the first place (see here).
|Measures to improve licensing practices and ensure wider access to content||Use of out-of-commerce works by cultural heritage institutions||
C4C welcomes the fact that Commission considers collective agreements for digitisation and dissemination of out of commerce works (Article 7-9 – Recitals 23-28). The Commission’s intention seems to model this on the Scandinavian “Extended Collective Licensing” (ECL) scheme, allowing collecting societies to assign non-exclusive licenses for non-commercial use of out of commerce works, even for non-members. This would enable works to be shared and accessed across the EU.
- Wikimedia – In an attempt to modernize copyright laws, the European Commission forgets about users
- Openforum Europe – New EU copyright does not support an open Internet
- EDiMA – European Commission copyright proposals not fit for the digital age [PDF]
- CCIA – European Commission releases Copyright and Telecom rules: end of Europe’s digital single market ambitions?
- IFLA – European Copyright Proposals: Libraries and Cultural Heritage Institutions Respond
- VZBV – Große Enttäuschung über die Vorschläge zum europäischen Urheberrecht
- BEUC – EU modest in opening up online content market to consumers
- LIBER – A Strong Rationale Needs Strong Resolve – LIBER Responds to the Commission Copyright Proposal
- COMMUNIA – Europeans deserve a better copyright reform
- DIGITALEUROPE – Copyright reform misses an opportunity to adapt European rules to the digital age [PDF]
- EuroISPA – European Commission copyright proposal risks turning back the clock on Digital Single Market
- CDT – EU Squanders Opportunity to Modernise Copyright Rules
- EDRi – New copyright directive fails at every level
- Bitkom – Bitkom kritisiert Copyright-Paket der EU-Kommission
- IGEL – Draft copyright directive is out and a slap in the face of the Internet!
- Mozilla – Commission Proposal to Reform Copyright is Inadequate
- Save the Link – EU Commission formally proposes Link Tax to European Parliament as part of new Copyright Directive
- LERU – EU copyright reform and TDM : potentially good for research but certainly not (yet) for innovation!
- IMMF – Statement on Proposal for a Directive on Copyright [PDF]
- Creative Commons – European Commission Copyright Proposal Leaves Users In The Dark
- Open Rights Group – Copyright reform fails EU citizens in favour of industry