EU Copyright Directive: A Missed Opportunity for Europe

BY Heather Greenfield
April 15, 2019

Brussels, BELGIUM — Today, EU Ministers endorsed the Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market, as adopted by the European Parliament on 26 March 2019.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association supports copyright and more importantly the remuneration of creators. We believe the Directive is disproportionate and we have raised concerns about the proposed neighbouring right for press publishers (Article 11, now Article 15) and upload filters (Article 13, now Article 17) for the past few years. Hundreds of academics, citizens, digital rights groups, consumer representatives, Internet luminaries and industry associations have done the same.  

The Copyright Directive’s Article 13 (now 17), for example, undermines the legality of the tools and sites that Europeans use every day to share thoughts, ideas, culture, humour, science and so on. It increases the incentives for platforms to over-filter and over-remove users’ uploads at the expense of legitimate uploads.

Its Article 11 (now 15) introduces an EU-wide neighbouring right in news publications, popularly known as a “snippet tax”, which risks restricting freedom of information online. This EU-wide proposal follows unsuccessful national laws in Spain and Germany and conflicts with the EU’s treaty commitments.

The following statement can be attributed to Maud Sacquet, Senior Policy Manager, CCIA Europe:

“Despite recent improvements, the EU Directive falls short of creating a balanced and modern framework for copyright. We fear it will harm online innovation and restrict online freedoms in Europe. We urge Member States to thoroughly assess and try to minimise the consequences of the text when implementing it.”

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