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Copyright Directive: new Estonian compromise proposals on controversial press rights and upload filters
31.8.17
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The Estonian Presidency of the Council has proposed new compromises on the forthcoming EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market, including a number of options for Member States to discuss on the controversial articles 11, on "neighbouring rights for press publishers", and 13 - on mandatory upload filters for online platforms.

See: Proposal for a a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market - Presidency compromise proposal regarding Articles 1, 2 and 10 to 16 (11783/17, LIMITE, 30 August 2017, pdf):

"Delegations will find in :

a) Annex I, a Presidency compromise proposals on Articles 1, 2 and 10 to 16 (including on relevant recitals) except on Articles 11 and 13;
b) Annex II, two alternative Presidency compromise proposals on Article 11 (including on relevant recitals);
c) Annex III, two alternative Presidency compromise proposals on Article 13 (including on relevant recitals).

These proposals will be discussed at the meeting of the Working Party on Intellectual Property (Copyright) on 11/12 September."

The proposals on articles 11 and 13 in seperate files (pdfs):

Articles 11 and 13 have proven particularly controversial, as highlighted a group of "independent legal, economic and social scientists" representing "the leading European centres researching intellectual property and innovation law" in a letter to the European Commission in February this year (emphasis added):

"It is likely that you personally are being lobbied with regard to a complex Copyright Reform package that extends to 3 Regulations and 2 Directives (supported by over 400 pages of Impact Assessments).

(...)

While the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM(2016) 593 final) contains a number of reasonable, common sense measures (for example relating to cross border access, out-of-commerce works, and access for the benefit of visually impaired people), there are two provisions that are fundamentally flawed. They do not serve the public interest.

Article 11 seeks to create an additional exclusive right for press publishers, even though press publishers already acquire exclusive rights from authors via contract. The additional right will deter communication of news, obstruct online licensing, and will negatively affect authors.

Article 13 indirectly tries to amend the E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) that arranges the liability of online intermediaries for user generated content into a shared responsibility of rights holders and service providers. The proposals will hinder digital innovation and users’ participation.

With respect to both provisions, independent empirical evidence has been ignored, consultations have been summarised in a misleading manner, and legitimate criticism has been labelled as anti-copyright. We urge you to look inside the copyright package and seek out independent expertise."

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