EU copyright deal will harm European online innovation and online rights

BY Heather Greenfield
February 13, 2019

Brussels, BELGIUM —  Negotiators from the European Parliament, European Council and the European Commission this evening reached a political agreement to overhaul the EU’s copyright rules. The compromise text will now have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and EU Member States in coming months.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, public interest groups and many other stakeholders had in particular raised concerns about the proposed Articles 11 and 13.

Article 11 introduces an EU-wide neighboring right in news publications, popularly known as a “snippet tax”, which risks restricting the freedom of quotation online. This EU-wide proposal follows unsuccessful national laws in Spain and Germany and conflicts with the EU’s treaty commitments.

Article 13 weakens existing EU legal protections for Internet services. It is reported to require sites and apps, where users can post material, to make ‘best efforts’ to preemptively buy licences for anything that users may possibly upload. This will make it difficult for users, small publishers and innovators to thrive in the EU Single Market.

The agreement is however reported to include a mandatory exemption for text and data mining.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President and Head of office Christian Borggreen:
“This is a lost opportunity to achieve a balanced and future-proof EU copyright reform. We fear the law could harm online innovation, scaleups, and restrict online freedoms in Europe. We urge governments and Members of the European Parliament to thoroughly assess the consequences of this text before officially adopting it.”

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