Friday, 2 August 2019

Over 85 Organisation Call on EU Legislators to Delete Articles 11 & 13

With the EU copyright negotiations having reached a crucial stage, over 85 organisations, representing a broad community of stakeholders ranging from civil society organisations, creators, academics, universities, public libraries, research organisations and libraries, startups, software developers, business organisations, EU online platforms, to Internet Service Providers, are sending a strong signal to the EU legislators: delete Articles 11 and 13 from the copyright reform proposal!

On 29 January 2019, over 85 organisations sent an open letter [PDF] on the EU copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market to the EU Member States’ Deputy Ambassadors, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) involved in the trilogue negotiations with the Council.

This initiative follows the recent deadlock that was reached at the Council level on 18 January at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER 1), at which the EU Member States’ Deputy Ambassadors discussed the proposals put forward by the Romanian Council Presidency in order to continue their negotiations with the European Parliament (EP) with the goal of concluding a trilogue agreement. However, a number of EU Member States opposed the direction that the Romanian Presidency wanted to take, and together these Member States reached the threshold to form a so-called ‘blocking minority’, as together they represented more than the minimum required 35.01% of the EU population to stop this moving forward. The result was that the trilogue meeting between the Council and the EP, scheduled for 21 January and which had already been proclaimed as the ‘final’ one, had to be postponed.

This letter thus comes at a crucial moment in the legislative discussions, as it gives a strong signal to all EU policymakers that the best way forward out of this situation is to delete Articles 11 and 13 from the copyright reform proposal.

We can only hope that the legislators will follow this message and stop the horse trading around these provisions that, if adopted, will be detrimental to both creators and citizens’ freedoms.

Herman Rucic is Senior Policy Manager in the secretariat of the Copyright 4 Creativity (C4C) coalition. He is Senior Policy Manager at N-square Consulting since September 2010. [All content from this author is made available under a CC BY 4.0 license]