Our overall assessment of the Directive is negative. It will further fragment and complicate the EU copyright framework, and will not make the internet work for people.
Article 13 of the proposed Directive would make online platforms liable for any copyright infringements committed by their users. As a result they will need to filter all uploads by users for potential copyright infringements. This will result in a massive limitations of users' freedom of expression and make it difficult for all kinds of platforms to continue to allow user uploads. Article 13 will change the internet as we know it.
The proposed Directive attempts to improve the failing financial outlook of press publishers in the digital, online environment by introducing a new right for them. It will not only fail to increase publisher revenues, but also decrease competition and innovation in the delivery of news, and limit access to information. Moreover, the new right will create additional ancillary protection for content already covered by copyright.
The proposed directive contains measures that are intended to help museums, archives and libraries to better serve their users online. A new mandatory exception for preservation copies will improve legal certainty. Articles 7-9a will make it easier for cultural heritage institutions to make available online copyrighted works from their collections that are not in commerce.
Text and Data Mining
The proposed mandatory exception would only permit text and data mining for scientific research purposes by research organisations. Innovators, journalists and everyone else would need to get permission from rightsholders, even when they have legal access to the materials in question. As a result, only a small privileged minority of researchers will be able to conduct text and data mining without restriction in the EU.
The proposed mandatory exception attempts to create a legal framework that allows digital educational activities, including across borders, within the EU region. However, the ease with which a teacher’s ability to benefit from the exception can be taken away by rightholders negates the effectiveness of the exception.
The EU should pass legislation that will end the practice whereby museums claim copyright over reproductions of works that are in the public domain. Currently, museums in a number of Member States can claim rights over photographic reproductions of public domain works by relying on neighbouring rights protecting unoriginal photography.
Right to Remix
The EU should have proposed a mandatory, EU-wide user-generated content exception that would give users and creators the right to engage with cultural works to create and share new materials for non-commercial purposes everywhere on the Internet. Instead, it proposed language that does not fully and clearly protect UGC the same way across the EU.
Freedom of Panorama
The EU should propose a freedom of panorama exception, mandatory across the EU, that would give users the right to share photos, videos, and images of any copyrighted works that are permanently located in public spaces. Such an approach, adjusted to our daily practices, would give legal certainty to EU citizens when using online platforms to share visual pieces of their daily lives.
The proposed Directive aims to ensure that creators and performers get appropriate remuneration for uses of their works by strengthening their negotiation position, with regards to agreements where they license or transfer their rights to exploit their works.
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