20 Jun 2018

European Parliament takes step backwards on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee (JURI) voted and adopted today their report on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. The text has not only significantly departed from the Commission’s original proposal, but regrettably most of the changes have failed to offer any improvement and instead took even further steps backwards.

“If the main ambition of the Commission and Parliament was to create a non-fragmented Digital Single Market where innovation in the creative sector can flourish, then this result is a complete failure,” said Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE.

The European Parliament missed an important opportunity to achieve a meaningful and forward-looking solution on text-and-data mining, which is fundamental for innovation, growth and research in Artificial Intelligence. Instead the proposed solution will only further increase fragmentation among Member States. The contentious new right for press publications and unworkable liability regime with content filtering will damage rather than aid the online and creative market.

“The outcome on this Directive highlights the disjointed and contradictory approach between publicstatements and actual legislative decisions. The good words and encouraging initiatives on AI, investment and innovation are cut short with a reactionary lack of vision and maintaining of the status quo,” said Bonefeld-Dahl.

DIGITALEUROPE urges the European Parliament not to simply accept the outcome of the JURI committee but to have a broader discussion in plenary, to revisit and take into account the impact of the proposal onEurope’s competitiveness. Copyright policy cannot be considered as a niche tool only applicable for certain sectors: rules on text-and-data mining, intermediary liability and the sharing of news online have drastic effects on European industry, modern creators, start-ups and civil society.

The evidence gathered by academia, journalists, and even the internal research done by European Parliament and Commission have demonstrated the flaws of the Copyright Directive. Many MEPs and political groups have given this a fair analysis and made proposals to improve the text and deliver a beneficial result to European citizens and businesses. DIGITALEUROPE looks forward to supporting this debate in the coming months, through the Parliament plenary and eventual trilogue negotiations.

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