The European Commission’s planned copyright reform proposes to adapt EU law to the challenges emerging in the Digital Single Market (DSM). In particular, new mandatory exceptions and limitations should contribute to improving the creative ecosystem in the digital environment. This CEIPI Opinion does support the plan to develop a—much needed—strategy to take copyright into the 21st century and make it functional to the DSM, especially by addressing important needs with regard to access to copyrighted works in order to boost creativity and innovation, promoting cumulative research and sharing of knowledge-based resources. CEIPI moreover fully endorses the goal of the proposal of lowering barriers to research and innovation in the EU DSM; however, in order to address these issues in a satisfying manner, this opinion strongly suggests an expansion of the reform’s scope. In particular,
[Teresa Nobre, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] The European Union is currently discussing a reform of its copyright system, including making mandatory certain copyright exceptions, in order to introduce a balance into the system. However, no one, except Julia Reda, is paying any attention to one of the biggest obstacles to the enforcement of copyright exceptions in the digital age: technological protection measures (TPM), including digital rights management (DRM). In this blogpost we will present the reasons why the European Parliament should not lose this opportunity to discuss a reform of the EU anti-circumvention rules.
[Bernt Hugenholtz, reposted from Kluwer Copyright Blog, Link] With the growth of the ‘data-driven economy’and the rise of ‘Big Data’ have come calls for the introduction of a novel property right in data. Apparently in response to demands from the German automotive industry, the European Commission has in its 2017 Communication on ‘Building a European data economy’ advanced the idea of creating a ‘data producer’s right’ that would protect industrial data against the world.
As explained in the Staff Working Paper that accompanies the Communication, this new right would create a transferable property right in “non-personal or anonymised machine-generated data”. It would encompass “the exclusive right to utilise certain data, including the right to licence its usage. This would include a set of rights enforceable against any party independent of contractual relations thus preventing further use of data by third parties who have no right to use the data, including the right to claim damages for unauthorised access to and use of data.”
[Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons, Link (CC-BY)] Copyright policymakers in Europe and South America have proposed legislation that would impose an unwaivable right to financial remuneration for authors and performers on copyrighted works. The laws attempt to ensure that creators receive payment for their work, but they would interfere with the operation of Creative Commons licensing by adding a special and separate economic right above and beyond the intention of some authors who wish to share their creative works with the world for free.
[Paul Keller, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] Yesterday we sent an open letter on copyright reform to the EU Member State ministers attending the Competitiveness Council. We have done so together with more than 60 other civil society and trade associations – representing publishers, libraries, scientific and research institutions, consumers, digital rights groups, start-ups, technology businesses, educational institutions and creator representatives.
The letter reflects our growing concern over the fact that the EU is wasting the long overdue opportunity to reform its outdated copyright framework. And that we are missing a chance to make it fit for purpose in the digital environment. At the root of the problem is the Commission’s backward looking proposal for a copyright in the digital single market directive that was presented in September of last year.
Abstract: Courts have traditionally considered copyright to be immune to any external freedom of expression review, the tension between those rights having to be resolved through internal balancing mechanisms such as the idea/expression dichotomy or limitations and exceptions to the exclusive right. Two important rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered in 2013 clearly challenge this premise. One is the judgment against France in the Ashby Donald case, the other an admissibility decision in the Swedish ‘‘Pirate Bay’’ application. Both rulings held that the use of a copyrighted work can be considered as an exercise of the right to freedom of expression, even if the use qualifies as an infringement and is profit-motivated.
Joint statement by the Internaiontal Federation of Library Associations and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (Link, CC-BY)
IFLA and EBLIDA sincerely wish to be able to welcome wholeheartedly the compromise agreement on the Marrakesh Treaty Directive reached on 10th May by representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. However, together with the European Blind Union, we reject entirely the notion in the agreement that the fundamental public interest activities of non-profit libraries and charities in creating and sharing accessible format books may, in some Member States, give rise to ‘compensation’ to rightholders.
Abstract: This article discusses the proposed introduction in EU law of neighbouring rights for press publishers for the digital uses of their publications. This proposal is included in the European Commission’s Draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market of 14 September 2016, which forms an important part of the ongoing reform of copyright at EU level. This article highlights the challenges for the Digital Single Market associated with the establishment of an additional layer of 28 national rights and their related exceptions and limitations. By reference to the “pie theory”, it also shows how this proposal risks redistributing resources from creators to publishers.
March 20, 2017, Open Media, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)
In response to today’s release of Copyright Rapporteur Therese Comodini Cachia MEP’s draft report on updates to the European Union Copyright Directive, OpenMedia’s Digital Rights Specialist Ruth Coustick-Deal said:
“This is an issue of fundamental rights, and once again we see the need for the European Parliament to step in and undo the damage being inflicted by the European Commission. Cachia’s proposed updates to copyright legislation are a strong step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to ensure the ability of all Europeans to access information online and express themselves freely.”
[Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] In 2016, libraries globally were set to spend 30 billion USD on books, journals, databases and other information resources, mostly paid from public funds. So when it comes to using the resources, libraries want fair access for their users, reasonable ability to reuse the material and value for taxpayer money. That’s why EIFL has joined a call by 34 organizations representing education, libraries and an open internet for a better copyright reform for education in Europe. On 7 February 2017, COMMUNIA, a European network that advocates for policies that expand the digital public domain, sent a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are currently scrutinizing copyright reform proposals issued by the European Commision in September 2016.
[Natalia Mileszyk, Communia Association, Link (CC-0)] The Rapporteur Marc Joulaud of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) recognises the problem with proposed article 11 regarding protection of press publications concerning digital uses – it can threaten hyperlinking and various ways users use content online. In Communia’s opinion the Commission’s proposal to introduce a right for press publishers is poorly aligned to the objective of modernising the EU copyright framework and adapting it to the challenges of a fast-evolving digital environment. In the light of the above we believe that the only solution is to remove the whole idea from the directive. This is not the approach shared by CULT – instead 3 problematic changes were proposed:
[Joint Statement] On Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th January, representatives of European governments will discuss draft legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union (EU).
As IFLA and partner organisations have underlined, this is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people with print disabilities – who cannot pick up and read a book in the same way as everyone else – both in Europe and beyond.
We are, however, aware of efforts to undermine the impact of Marrakesh. This will happen if national governments can oblige libraries and others to pay fees to publishers for making use of their Marrakesh rights, or if they are subject to additional, unnecessary, registration or record-keeping requirements. Both IFLA and EIFL have highlighted the risks of such moves.