The EPP Group has adopted its common position on the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. “We expect the file to raise profound debates in the months to come so our Group has held multiple meetings over the past weeks and we can now present the negotiated position adopted by the plenum of our political group”, said Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee and Parliament’s Rapporteur for the Copyright Directive.
The proposal for the Copyright Directive was put forward by the European Commission in September 2016 with the aim of adapting the copyright rules to the new technological developments and realities. “We acknowledge the need to amend the existing copyright rules in order to improve the legal certainty of the rights of the authors as well as other right holders on one side, and the users and consumers of their works on the other side. With the publisher’s right, we want to safeguard quality journalism vis-à-vis the phenomenon of wide-spreading fake news over the internet. Quality reporting is an asset requiring our attention. As a principle, we agree to provide the press publishers the same rights regarding the digital use of press publications as is contributed to the authors under the current legislation, but not on the author’s expenses, as proposed by the European Commission”, continued Voss.
“We seek the balance between the freedom of expression on one side and the use of copyright-protected content in the digital sphere on the other. Online platform service providers that allow users to upload copyright-protected content also need to bear their responsibility for protecting the rights of the authors. Online service providers who often make a profit from content they do not own should, in our view, maintain a certain level of due diligence over the uploaded works in order to ascertain whether they are in line with copyright rules”, added Sabine Verheyen MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman for Culture and Education.
The EPP Group position paper addresses the rights of publishers of press publications in the digital space, the value gap, text and data mining exception, user-generated content and the panorama exception.
The Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee is to debate the amendments during this week’s meeting on Thursday 13 July. The vote is provisionally expected to take place on 10 October. The plenary might vote on the Report in December 2017.