Industry Coalition in Support of MEP Reda’s Report on Copyright

BY CCIA Staff
February 12, 2015

CCIA together with four other industry trade associations issued an open statement Thursday on MEP Julia Reda’s draft report on the implementation of the Copyright Directive.

Reda’s draft report is a good first step towards putting the debate around copyright reform on the right track. The report identifies some major shortcomings of Europe’s current copyright framework and implicitly recognizes that Europe’s rules will increasingly stand in international competition with the legal regimes of other countries and regions. That is important to understand: just like the competition for talent is global, so is the competition for capital. Modern and future-proof copyright rules will be one of the factors that will either encourage or discourage investing into European businesses. It will also matter to European innovators building their companies in Europe.

In that context, copyright rules have a role to play to encourage innovation and technological progress. MEP Reda rightly points to the need for an ‘open norm’ which would allow to embrace technological change more easily. In a fast changing environment, flexibility is key. A second, important issue addressed by the report is the current imbalance between exclusive rights and exceptions and limitations to copyright. A more harmonized approach to exceptions and limitations has to be encouraged which would lead to greater legal certainty and pan-European market scale.

The report also stresses that basic online activities like hyperlinking to publicly accessible content need to be preserved. What sounds like a basic activity performed by millions of Internet users per day was actually challenged in a court case and was largely resolved in last year’s Svensson judgment. However, pointing people to freely accessible, legal content online is more broadly being challenged by laws that try to extend copyright protection to subject matter that has never been intended to be covered by copyright. Germany’s and Spain’s ancillary copyright legislations which target online aggregation services as well as snippets generated by search engines are a good example of how copyright is being abused for industrial policy purposes — i.e. aiming to subsidize the publishing industry at the expense of online players. (For more background information on ancillary rights, please see this CCIA background paper).

MEP’s Reda’s report clearly resists this vision of copyright law. On the contrary, it is a useful contribution towards a more forward-looking and innovation-friendly copyright policy.

Related Articles

CCIA Response To Senate Judiciary Committee’s Announced Markup of Bill Aimed At Handful of Companies

Jan 11, 2022

Washington —  The Senate Judiciary Committee has noticed a markup of S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, aimed at regulating a specific group of American digital service providers. The proposed regulation represents a shift from the market-oriented principles that have characterized U.S. economic policy. It would have a severe impact on U.S.…

CCIA Warns EU Foreign Subsidies Plan Could Deter Investment Needed for Economic Recovery

Dec 17, 2021

Brussels, BELGIUM — The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) backs the European Commission’s crackdown on distortive foreign subsidies but fears that the proposal, as it stands, could inadvertently discourage third-country organisations from providing the investment required to help fund Europe’s post-pandemic recovery. In its position paper on the EU Regulation on foreign subsidies,…

CCIA Responds to EU consultation on Civil liability and AI

Dec 17, 2021

Today, the Computer & Communications Industry Association submitted its comments to the European Commission’s public consultation “Civil liability – adapting liability rules to the digital age and artificial intelligence”. CCIA Europe acknowledges the Commission’s concerns that certain elements of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) could pose new challenges to the application of liability rules.…