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Aktuelles

Two more EP Committies gang up against free linking   Am 12. Juli 2017 - 11:42 Uhr von Tom Hirche

After the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on its opinion on the new Copyright Directive a month ago, it were the Committees for Culture and Education (CULT) and for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE - see the opinion) that both had their turns yesterday. The result: the suggestion of an even worse ancillary copyright for press publishers.

Mediocre starting position

Regarding the CULT's vote it was of little to no surprise that the European Commission's initial proposal for an ancillary copyright a.k.a. link tax appealed to the majority of MEPs. The draft opinion that had been prepared by the elected rapporteur Marc Joulaud (EPP) did already strongly favour the introduction of a new publisher's right. However, the outcome is nevertheless shocking because the Commission's proposal was not only approved but also changed for the worse!

In the case of the ITRE, the starting position looked a bit better as elected rapporteur Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR) proposed a change away from the publishers' right to the presumption that an author had transferred his rights onto the publishers. This would enable the latter to negotiate licence agreements and to fight infringements much easier while at the same time the freedom of the net would be maintained.

Tragically, in both Committees the good and fair amendments failed miserably to prevail against the destructive and hypocritical ones.

What was decided?

Both Committees' opinions want to expand the publishers' right's scope. Instead of applying to digital uses only, every use of publishers' texts shall be covered be it offline or online. Combined with the untouched Article 18(2) which states that the link tax shall also apply to all press publications published in the past, this would deeply damage the freedom of information.

But there are exceptions to it, right? Well, the ITRE also wants to get rid of the exception for scientific and academic papers. Organisations like the International Association for Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) lobbied hard for their goal to not be excluded from the publishers' right. Although this might sound good at first glance, the consequence will be that people stop linking to these papers as they fear they have to pay a remuneration. This would be a hard blow to all open access initiatives and the free spread of knowledge.

The CULT wants a new exception to the link tax to be added that raises a tremendous amount of questions and thus only creates legal uncertainty:

"The rights granted under this Directive should be without prejudice to the authors’ rights and should not apply to the legitimate uses of press publications by individual users acting in a private and non-commercial capacity."

What is the definition of a "legitimate use" and whose decision will it be? The publishers'? When can the sharing of a link be regarded as private or non-commercial? Is it private when I share a link on a publicly accessible website? Is it non-commercial when I post a link on a website or platform that has ads?

The addition continues:

The protection granted to press publications under this Directive should apply to content automatically generated by an act of hyperlinking related to a press publication without prejudice to the legitimate use of quotations.

So we shall not be allowed to share a link when this automatically triggers the display of a snippet? What exactly is the harm to the publishers caused by this? Are they not able to handle all the additional viewers they receive? Do they really think any company will continue to make use of this technique when they have to pay for it?

Any hope?

The information of freedom is not yet lost. The Committee in charge of the European Parliament's final text is the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) which will have its final vote on 10th October 2017. Other Committees' opinions only provide something like a "specialized expertise" (although it does not look like this). Unfortunately, the new rapporteur of the JURI is a strong advocate of the new publishers' right. So don't stop to raise your voice and call your representatives!

Parliament's largest group to fully endorse Commission's proposal for a link tax   Am 9. Juli 2017 - 17:47 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The European Commission's proposal for an ancillary copyright for press publishers has received a tremendous amount of criticism from many MEPs of all groups of the European Parliament. But now the largest group, the European People's Party (EPP), has adopted a joint position that fully supports the Commission's line while ignoring the European people's voices and all academic advice. Weiter

Google's design changes might soon end all lawsuits   Am 3. Juli 2017 - 23:18 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

German courts have to deal with a variety of lawsuits that involve the German ancillary copyright for press publishers. But Google's design changes might bringt a sudden end. Weiter

Cheap trick shall make us think the Spanish link tax works   Am 3. Juli 2017 - 22:54 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The Spanish link tax is indeed no success story. All it "achieved" so far is the permanent shutdown of Google News Spain which led to a large drop in publishers' site views while not accumulating a single euro. Although this situation will change with the just closed deal, it first and foremost tries to shamelessly fool us into thinking that the link tax is actually working. Weiter

Ansip only believes in surveys that confirm his view   Am 2. Juli 2017 - 19:30 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The European Commission regularly makes use of surveys to gather a wide array of opinions from various stakeholders. But when the result does not meet the preconceived view, its relevance will simply be denied, as it seems. Weiter

Rogue members try to hijack LIBE Committee   Am 14. Juni 2017 - 18:29 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Almost a month ago, in mid May 2017, the draft opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the EU-Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive has officially been published. As things just turned out, some hardliners suddenly want to amend it so that it will be strongly in favour of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

IMCO supports link tax – several MEPs did not attend the vote   Am 8. Juni 2017 - 21:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

This morning, the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive (2016/0280(COD)) as the first of five committees. The outcome is of great significance to the other votes that are yet to come. Unfortunately, the ancillary copyright for press publishers is still very much alive. Weiter

New paper discusses publisher's right – "unnecessary and dangerous"   Am 1. Juni 2017 - 17:25 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

With the support of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the European Policy Centre (EPC) has published a new discussion paper titled "Rewarding quality journalism or distorting the Digital Single Market? The case for and against neighbouring rights for press publishers". It is divided into an economy analysis (part I) and a legal analysis (part II). Weiter

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The "Alternative Compromise" could hardly be worse   Am 31. Mai 2017 - 20:20 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In her just published blog post, MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) draws attention to the alarming developments within the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee. Instead of joining the committee's internal negotiations, Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont (EPP) is currently gathering support for his own "Alternative Compromise Amendment on Publisher’s Right" which is the worst we have seen so far in this debate. Weiter

Welcome Copybuzz!   Am 10. Mai 2017 - 10:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

If you feel confused and/or want to know what is going on with copyright these and the coming days, there is a new website just for you: CopyBuzz! It was launched at this year's re:publica and is supported by the Copyright for Creativity (C4C), the coalition that seeks an informed debate on how copyright can more effectively promote innovation, access, and creativity. Weiter

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EuGH wird über deutsches Leistungsschutzrecht entscheiden   Am 10. Mai 2017 - 5:09 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Die rechtliche Auseinandersetzung zwischen Google und der VG Media wird um ein neues Kapitel ergänzt, bevor das aktuelle abgeschlossen wird. Zunächst wird der Europäische Gerichtshof (EuGH) entscheiden müssen, ob das deutsche Leistungsschutzrecht überhaupt anwendbar ist. Weiter

Streitgespräch auf der re:publica   Am 9. Mai 2017 - 15:49 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Am heutigen Dienstag diskutieren auf der Bühne 5 der re:publica Dr. Till Kreutzer und Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner über das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger. Ohne Moderation wird es dabei zu einem offenen Schlagabtausch der Argumente kommen – wobei für uns jetzt schon feststeht, wer überzeugender sein wird. Dennoch sind wir gespannt, was Professor Höppner, einer der (sehr wenigen) Befürworter eines solchen Leistungsschutzrechtes, vortragen wird. Schaut es euch am besten live an!

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Breiter Widerstand im Europäischen Parlament gegen Presse-Leistungsschutzrecht   Am 18. April 2017 - 9:43 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Die Reform des europäischen Urheberrechts ist in vollem Gang und erreicht allmählich seine heiße Phase. Was das noch vom ehemaligen Digitalkommissar Günther Oettinger (CDU) vorgeschlagene Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger angeht, zeigt sich ein breiter Widerstand über Fraktionsgrenzen hinweg. Weiter

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Evaluation nur eine Farce   Am 7. April 2017 - 10:59 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Vor über drei Jahren hat sich die aktuelle Bundesregierung in ihren Koalitionsvertrag geschrieben, das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger zu evaluieren. Vergangenen Oktober kam durch eine Kleine Anfrage der Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN ans Licht, dass der Evaluierungsprozess endlich eingeleitet wurde. Mit einer weiteren Kleinen Anfrage hat man sich nun nach dem aktuellen Stand erkundet – und wird beim Lesen der Antwort nur enttäuscht. Weiter

Opposition against link tax gets big ally from Spain   Am 24. März 2017 - 19:44 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Again and again the big (mainly German) publishing houses claim that an ancillary copyright for press publishers will do great good to their industry as a whole. They repeat their mantra despite the fact that several publishers are explicitly rejecting the introducing of such a right since this idea emerged in Germany a few years ago. Now, at a time when the European Parliament prepares to stop the Commission's plans, a major Spanish publisher joins those "rebels". Weiter

"Urheberrecht geht alle an" – IGEL im Radio   Am 22. März 2017 - 16:41 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Im Rahmen der Sendereihe "Radio Dispositiv" hat sich Herbert Gnauer mit IGEL-Gründer Dr. Till Kreutzer ausführlich über das Urheberrecht in der digitalen Welt und die Reformpläne der Europäischen Kommission unterhalten. Die Folge kann man sich hier kostenlos anhören und bei Bedarf auch herunterladen. Weiter

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Official version of Comodini report published   Am 20. März 2017 - 19:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last Friday, the official version of MEP Therese Comodini Cachia's (EPP, Malta) draft of her report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) was published. Comodini is the elected rapporteur of the leading committee for legal affairs (JURI). Although some minor changes have already been made compared to the version that was leaked a few days ago, the most important points have all been kept. The deadline for tabling amendments is March 30th. Weiter

Stop the censorship machine!   Am 13. März 2017 - 18:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Besides the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers a.k.a. the link tax, the European Commission also wants internet platforms to apply automated upload filtering technologies to all of their user's content. Together with 27 other civil society organisations, we have signed an open letter addressed to the European Institutions and urge them to delete this proposal. Weiter

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Legal Affairs committee also demands to abolish ancillary copyright   Am 8. März 2017 - 21:02 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

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400 pages of new insights   Am 24. Februar 2017 - 19:48 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Months ago, Matthias Schindler from the office of MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) has submitted a freedom of information request to the European Commission and just a few days ago he finally received 400 pages (!) of secrets surrounding the proposed European ancillary copyright for press publishers/the publisher's right. POLITICO's Chris Spillane has identified numerous "things you need to know". Weiter

European Parliament committee demands to abolish ancillary copyright   Am 24. Februar 2017 - 14:09 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Today the draft opinion of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) was published. Here, rapporteur Catherine Stihler (S&D Group) claims a number of sensible and important amendments to the disappointing Commission’s draft DSM directive. Most notably she demands to ditch the ancillary copyright for press publishers (ac) once and for all. Weiter

Leading European copyright scholars fundamentally criticise the ancillary copyright   Am 23. Februar 2017 - 18:32 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

As of today, a broad coalition of European copyright scholars wrote an open letter to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It openly opposes Art. 11 (ancillary copyright) and 13 (mandatory content filtering). The letter’s first signatories consist of a number of the leading academic experts on copyright. They represent some of the most respected research centres in Europe that deal with copyright research from legal, economical and other perspectives. Weiter

French MEP pushes for an ancillary copyright on snippets   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 20:59 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Today, the Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) in the European Parliament issued a draft opinion on the DSM directive proposal. Here, the rapporteur, French MEP Marc Joulaud (conservatives, EPP), proposes bluntly the protection (i.e. monopolisation) of even the smallest parts of press publications. He tries to disguise his proposal, however, as a step towards the user’s interests. Weiter

New tariff will kill Spanish aggregators   Am 9. Februar 2017 - 9:37 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

Within the last couple of months, it has been very quiet about the Spanish link tax which aims to charge content aggregators a fee if they publish snippets of a news article. As a consequence, after this law was passed, Google News Spain, the main target of this measure, was shut down in 2014. But now the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO) has initiated a new round of negotiations with several affected online services. The figures they ask for are shocking. Weiter

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German District Court considers ancillary copyright null and void   Am 8. Februar 2017 - 13:50 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

In an oral hearing at the district court of Berlin on Tuesday, the presiding judge held that the German ancillary copyright (ac) had to be notified by the German Government. If the court clings to this assessment the German ac could be declared ineffective, null and void. Weiter

Landgericht Berlin hält das LSR für unwirksam   Am 7. Februar 2017 - 18:28 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

Die heutige mündliche Verhandlung vor dem Landgericht in Sachen VG Media gegen Google begann mit einem Paukenschlag: Nach dem vorsitzenden Richter Scholz neigt die Kammer zu der Annahme, dass die Bundesregierung das deutsche LSR bei der EU hätte notifizieren müssen. Träfe das zu, wäre das LSR unwirksam und alle Verfahren würden ins Leere laufen. Weiter

"Grossly disproportionate" – New study on publisher's right   Am 17. Januar 2017 - 12:14 Uhr von Tom Hirche

OpenForum Europe (OFE) has commissioned Dr. Mireille van Eechoud, who is Professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law, to conduct a study on the ancillary copyright for publishers as proposed by the European Commission. It is very carefully written and pays special attention to the freedom of expression, the special effects on authors and open data/science. Weiter

Snippets not only may but will be illegal   Am 16. Januar 2017 - 8:19 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament held an event labelled "Hearing on Copyright". One of the speakers was Giuseppe Abbamonte, the Commission's director of media policy at the DG CONNECT, who said that we might all act illegally when we share articles, as reported by Chris Spillane from POLITICO. Weiter

Ansip übernimmt Oettingers Aufgaben   Am 23. Dezember 2016 - 5:03 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Ende Oktober 2016 wurde bekannt, dass EU-Kommissar Günther Oettinger neuer EU-Haushaltskommissar werden soll. Offen blieb die Frage, wer dann das Ressort für digitale Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft führen wird. Darauf gibt es jetzt eine Antwort. Weiter

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British top scholars against European ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 17. Dezember 2016 - 12:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

A group of 37 professors and scholars of Intellectual Property, Information Law and Digital Economy have sent a joint letter to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) presenting their view on the ancillary copyright for press publishers as proposed by the EU Commission. They advise the UK Government to oppose this proposal for various reasons. Weiter

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