EU Countries Question The Compatibility Of Copyright Reform With EU Fundamental Rights

BY Heather Greenfield
September 5, 2017

Brussels — This morning, the website Statewatch published a leaked EU Council document on the copyright reform, in which a number of European countries are strongly questioning its compatibility with European fundamental rights.

For the past year, the European Commission has been explaining that Article 13 of its copyright proposal – despite upending the liability regime of online platforms and requiring a very broad range of websites to implement mechanisms to filter all comments, pictures, videos, etc. uploaded by their users – was compliant with existing legislation and European fundamental rights.

This leaked document demonstrates clearly that a number of European governments disagree with this assessment – as do an impressive list of academics (see here and here). Despite the summer’s break, they have reached out to the European Council’s legal services to make it clear.

Coming on the heels of the Estonian Presidency’s first compromise proposal which included two dismal new versions of these provisions (see our blogpost here) and ahead of the European Council’s next round of negotiations next week, this leak demonstrates that no further negotiations on Article 13 should take place until a thorough legal analysis, focusing on its compatibility with European fundamental rights, has been conducted.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association advocates on internet freedom and for balanced copyright policies. The following can be attributed to CCIA Public Policy Senior Manager Maud Sacquet:

“A number of European governments have clearly indicated that they question the compatibility of the copyright proposal with European fundamental rights and with the e-Commerce directive, the legal cornerstone of the European digital economy. CCIA urges the European institutions to focus on a thorough written analysis of the copyright proposal compatibility with European fundamental rights and values before starting their negotiations again.”

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