Thursday, 23 November 2017

Open Letter on the EU copyright reform

Over 60 civil society & trade associations urge European lawmakers to put the EU copyright reform back on track

On 29 May 2017, over 60 civil society and trade associations – representing publishers, journalists, libraries, scientific and research institutions, consumers, digital rights groups, start-ups, technology businesses, educational institutions and creator representatives – sent this open letter [PDF] to the Ministers attending the Competitiveness Council and European Parliament Rapporteur MEP Therese Comodini Cachia and her colleagues, asking them to put the EU copyright reform back on track.

The letter points out that the draft proposal issued by the European Commission not only lacks ambition, but also comprises various provisions that represent major pitfalls.

The signatories ask ‘European lawmakers to oppose the most damaging aspects of the proposal, but also to embrace a more ambitious agenda for positive reform’, highlighting three key messages:

  • Article 13 (‘censorship filter’): Do not impose private censorship on EU citizens by filtering user uploaded content. Article 13 should be removed from the copyright negotiations and dealt with in appropriate contexts.
  • Article 11 (press publishers’ right): Do not create new copyrights. Remove any creation of additional rights such as the press publishers’ right in Article 11.
  • Articles 3-9: Put Europe on the map by enabling innovation, research and education. European lawmakers can do so by taking positive steps in revisiting Articles 3 to 9 which cover areas such as innovation, research and education, to ensure that these provisions are applied broadly and uniformly across the EU, without being overridden by contractual terms or technological protection measures, and that the proposed text and data mining exception benefits all persons with legal access to content.

The letter concludes by calling upon the European lawmakers “to deliver a reform that is fit for purpose in the digital environment and that upholds and strengthens fundamental principles such as the rights of citizens to freedom of communication and access to knowledge”.

Press inquiries:

Ms Caroline De Cock, Coordinator Copyright for Creativity (C4C), +32 (0)474 84 05 15

Caroline is coordinator of the Copyright 4 Creativity (C4C) coalition. She is also the founder and Managing Director of N-square Consulting (N²), a Brussels-based public affairs firm. She is the author of ‘iLobby.eu: Survival Guide to EU Lobbying, Including the Use of Social Media’.