Kategorie European Commission

Oettinger seems confident  Am 5. Mai 2015 - 12:33 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Publikationsdatum 05.05.2015 ~ Art des Materials: Akteure: Schlagworte: Soziales System: Lizenz: 

Last week, Markus Keßler from Futurezone.at interviewed EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Besides geoblocking, net neutrality and data preservation, the ancillary copyright for press publishers was also a topic on the list.


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.

Strong opposition in the Parliament

Although the EPP cannot be described as the greatest opposer of the Commission's proposal, there is a number of MEPs that have tabled various amendments to delete the ancillary copyright also known as the link tax, e.g. Andrea Bocskor or Pavel Svoboda. The most prominent was Therese Comodini Cachia. She was not only Member of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) but also its elected rapporteur and thus responsible for the Parliament’s reaction to the Commission’s copyright reform proposal.

In her report, she recommended to eliminate the link tax and instead grant publishers

a presumption of representation of authors of literary works [...] and the legal capacity to sue in [the publisher's] own name when defending the rights of such authors for the digital use of their press publications.

This is a fair compromise between the users' need for a free internet and the publishers' demand to fight alleged online piracy (see also our suggestions for such a solution).

New rapporteur, old lies

The bad news is, the JURI has not yet voted on Cachia's report and sadly a few days ago, she announced to step down from all of her positions and to return to her home country Malta. The even worse news is that the German MEP Axel Voss took her position in the JURI. He alone has tabled 22 (!) amendments to the Commission's proposal in the past, each of them with the clear goal to further extend the publishers' right no matter how harmful it will be to the freedom of information.

During his first days, he already managed to convince his colleagues to adopt a shocking joint position:

[T]he EPP is in favour of a genuine right for press publishers as proposed by the Commission in Art. 11.

They not only just copy the position but also repeat the same nonsense:

The EPP Group has strong concerns that the growth of traditional media in the digital sphere is challenged by some news aggregators and online service providers that develop their activities by using right-holders' content without contributing to sustain the investment in its creation [...]

We have heard this accusation so many times but this does not make any bit more correct. All over Europe, an author's text is protected by copyright and legal actions can be taken against any infringement - if there is one. But news aggregators and other online service providers do not copy the texts. They only show the headline plus a few words (which, at least in the case of Google, could be prevented easily) which is not copyright relevant in the very most cases. Their contribution is to guide millions of users to publishers' websites. That is a pretty heavy one as visitors mean money through advertising.

But the joint position does not stop here:

The EPP is of the opinion that a specific right for publishers provides more legal certainty regarding licensing and enforcement of rights.

It is very unclear how the EPP came to this opinion without ignoring all facts. The link tax as proposed by the Commission is highly unclear in various points and thus does not provide any legal certainty at all. Also, the situation right now is pretty clear: aggregators either do not need a license because they only show a few words (snippets) or they do need one because they infringe on the authors'/publishers' copyright. What the link tax will do is giving the publishers the new possibility to charge online service providers for showing snippets. This is what they want but not dare to say. Instead, they try to cover up their real intention with a variety of lies and allegations.

German conservatives all the way

For some reason, there are several politicians who ignore all scientific evidence and academic advice when it comes to the link tax. Interestingly, it is always German conservative that try to make publishers a big, big present. First, it was Commissioner Günther Oettinger who proposed his ancillary copyright on steroids roughly a year ago. Now it is Axel Voss who takes the reins and tries to finish what was started. Even if this means pressing others to vote against their belief and to make a fatal decision.

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

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

2819 people raised their voices! #FixCopyright   Am 19. Juni 2016 - 8:06 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last Wednesday, the European Commission's consultation "on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain and on the 'panorama exception'" came to an end. And so has the #FixCopyright campaign by Copyright for Creativity (C4C). An incredible number of 2819 people have used the answering tool. All the answers have already been transfered to the Commission.

The message is clear: A strict "No!" to an ancillary copyright/neighbouring right for (press) publishers as well as a overwhelming "Yes!" to freedom of panorama. Take a look at the numbers here

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all participants who have raised their voices.

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La Quadrature du Net wants less neighbouring rights   Am 3. Juni 2016 - 13:50 Uhr von Tom Hirche

The NGO La Quadrature du Net that promotes digital rights and freedoms of citizens has positioned itself clearly against a new "publisher's right" the EU Commission is suggesting in its still ongoing consultation on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain and on the 'panorama exception'. Weiter

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#FixCopyright at re:publica   Am 26. April 2016 - 22:54 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In less than one week, the annual re:publica will open its gates again. Among the approximately 850 speakers will be Caroline de Cock. She is a Coordinator at Copyright for Creativity (C4C) will kick off the new #FixCopyright campaign! Weiter

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Open letter to EU Commission   Am 8. April 2016 - 14:26 Uhr von Tom Hirche

As a partner of a great coalition we have signed an open letter to members of the European Commission responsible for the digital single market. We demand "an ambitious reform that is fit for purpose in the digital environment and that upholds and strengthens fundamental principles such as the limitation of intermediaries’ liability, rights of citizens to freedom of communication and access to knowledge." Weiter

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MEPs sign Open Letter to Commission   Am 18. Dezember 2015 - 12:11 Uhr von Tom Hirche

A cross-party coalition formed by over 80 MEPs has written an Open Letter to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, to European Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip as well as to European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger. They are "deeply concerned about the Commission's Communication 'Towards a modern, more European copyright framework'". Weiter

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Go to YouCan.FixCopyright.eu!   Am 7. Dezember 2015 - 9:38 Uhr von Tom Hirche

In late September, the EU Commission has initiated its public consultation on online platforms. To encourage everybody to speak his/her mind, there now is (another) online tool that facilitates the process of submitting your opinion to the Commission. Weiter

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No link tax, says Ansip   Am 23. November 2015 - 14:44 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Akteure: Schlagworte: Lizenz: 

David Meyer from POLITICO reports that the EU Commission does not plan on creating new legislation giving press publishers the right to claim licensing fees from news aggregators. Weiter

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Martin Schulz vs. Parliament   Am 6. November 2015 - 14:35 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Martin Schulz (PES), President of the European Parliament and a trained bookseller, gave a Keynote at the Publishers' Summit this Monday in Berlin. It soon became clear that he disagrees with the majority of the Parliament in the matter of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Weiter

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Oettinger seems confident   Am 5. Mai 2015 - 14:32 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Last week, Markus Keßler from Futurezone.at interviewed EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Besides geoblocking, net neutrality and data preservation, the ancillary copyright for press publishers was also a topic on the list. Weiter

IGEL supports European publishers by opposing the ancillary copyright for press publishers   Am 11. Dezember 2014 - 16:17 Uhr von Till Kreutzer

As of today, associations of Polish, French, Spanish and Italian publishers dispatched an open letter to Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. In the letter, the publishers express their “concerns with the recent developments in Spanish law, which directly target the sharing, linking and aggregation of content online with a new form of ‘ancillary right' triggering mandatory payments. IGEL, the Initiative against an ancillary copyright law for press publishers, supported that letter and acted as a signatory. Weiter