20 Mar 2017

Copyright reform not yet fit for purpose

Copyright reform not yet fit for purpose

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the report of the European Parliament Legal Affairs committee meeting on the draft proposal of the Directive on copyright in Digital Single Market. The opinion is a step in the right direction, but we believe that the outcome is not yet fit for purpose.

DIGITALEUROPE has long called for a copyright framework that supports the growth of digital European creative industries, whereas the Commission’s proposal seeks to lock European consumers, citizens and businesses into the business models of yesterday. With the rapporteur’s opinion, the European Parliament improves the Commission’s copyright proposals, but they remain insufficient to meet the challenges of our digital age.

We welcome the committee’s boldness in squarely recognising that the proposal for a publisher right is inadequate. The report highlights that European research, innovation and competitiveness can grow with text and data mining, and that the filtering and liability rules proposed by the Commission are inappropriate. However, the proposed alternatives in the report do not always overcome the inadequacy of the initial Commission proposals, which are now difficult to amend. Therefore, we still believe that articles 11 and 13 should be deleted.

We hope that this reform will not become another missed opportunity to properly address the internal market issues with the private copying exception and the legal uncertainty that has been reflected in numerous Court of Justice of the EU judgments over the past few years. We look forward to Members of the European Parliament and the Member States in the Council resisting these changes in order to deliver a solid, future proof and workable European copyright reform that can achieve its two main objectives: a truly digital single market that maximises benefits for European consumers in accessing quality European and international content, without undermining the Internet and digital ecosystem.

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