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Welcome Copybuzz!   10/05/2017 by Tom Hirche

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If you feel confused and/or want to know what is going on with copyright these and the coming days, there is a new website just for you: CopyBuzz! It was launched at this year's re:publica and is supported by the Copyright for Creativity (C4C), the coalition that seeks an informed debate on how copyright can more effectively promote innovation, access, and creativity. Read more

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Opposition against link tax gets big ally from Spain   24/03/2017 by Tom Hirche

Again and again the big (mainly German) publishing houses claim that an ancillary copyright for press publishers will do great good to their industry as a whole. They repeat their mantra despite the fact that several publishers are explicitly rejecting the introducing of such a right since this idea emerged in Germany a few years ago. Now, at a time when the European Parliament prepares to stop the Commission's plans, a major Spanish publisher joins those "rebels". Read more

Official version of Comodini report published   20/03/2017 by Tom Hirche

Last Friday, the official version of MEP Therese Comodini Cachia's (EPP, Malta) draft of her report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) was published. Comodini is the elected rapporteur of the leading committee for legal affairs (JURI). Although some minor changes have already been made compared to the version that was leaked a few days ago, the most important points have all been kept. The deadline for tabling amendments is March 30th. Read more

Stop the censorship machine!   13/03/2017 by Tom Hirche

Besides the introduction of an ancillary copyright for press publishers a.k.a. the link tax, the European Commission also wants internet platforms to apply automated upload filtering technologies to all of their user's content. Together with 27 other civil society organisations, we have signed an open letter addressed to the European Institutions and urge them to delete this proposal. Read more

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Legal Affairs committee also demands to abolish ancillary copyright   08/03/2017 by Till Kreutzer

Today, the conservative member of the European Parliament Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP, Malta) published her proposal for the DSM directive. The elected rapporteur of the leading committee for legal affairs (JURI) asks for numerous amendments to the infamous draft DSM directive presented by commissioner Günther Oettinger last year. Most notably, in line with Europe’s leading copyright experts and the opinion of the rapporteur for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and many other commentators, she demands to get rid of the ancillary copyright. Read more

400 pages of new insights   24/02/2017 by Tom Hirche

Months ago, Matthias Schindler from the office of MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) has submitted a freedom of information request to the European Commission and just a few days ago he finally received 400 pages (!) of secrets surrounding the proposed European ancillary copyright for press publishers/the publisher's right. POLITICO's Chris Spillane has identified numerous "things you need to know". Read more

European Parliament committee demands to abolish ancillary copyright   24/02/2017 by Till Kreutzer

Today the draft opinion of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) was published. Here, rapporteur Catherine Stihler (S&D Group) claims a number of sensible and important amendments to the disappointing Commission’s draft DSM directive. Most notably she demands to ditch the ancillary copyright for press publishers (ac) once and for all.

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Leading European copyright scholars fundamentally criticise the ancillary copyright   23/02/2017 by Till Kreutzer

As of today, a broad coalition of European copyright scholars wrote an open letter to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It openly opposes Art. 11 (ancillary copyright) and 13 (mandatory content filtering). The letter’s first signatories consist of a number of the leading academic experts on copyright. They represent some of the most respected research centres in Europe that deal with copyright research from legal, economical and other perspectives.

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French MEP pushes for an ancillary copyright on snippets   09/02/2017 by Till Kreutzer

Today, the Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) in the European Parliament issued a draft opinion on the DSM directive proposal. Here, the rapporteur, French MEP Marc Joulaud (conservatives, EPP), proposes bluntly the protection (i.e. monopolisation) of even the smallest parts of press publications. He tries to disguise his proposal, however, as a step towards the user’s interests. Read more

New tariff will kill Spanish aggregators   09/02/2017 by Tom Hirche

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Within the last couple of months, it has been very quiet about the Spanish link tax which aims to charge content aggregators a fee if they publish snippets of a news article. As a consequence, after this law was passed, Google News Spain, the main target of this measure, was shut down in 2014. But now the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO) has initiated a new round of negotiations with several affected online services. The figures they ask for are shocking. Read more

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German District Court considers ancillary copyright null and void   08/02/2017 by Till Kreutzer

In an oral hearing at the district court of Berlin on Tuesday, the presiding judge held that the German ancillary copyright (ac) had to be notified by the German Government. If the court clings to this assessment the German ac could be declared ineffective, null and void. Read more

"Grossly disproportionate" – New study on publisher's right   17/01/2017 by Tom Hirche

OpenForum Europe (OFE) has commissioned Dr. Mireille van Eechoud, who is Professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law, to conduct a study on the ancillary copyright for publishers as proposed by the European Commission. It is very carefully written and pays special attention to the freedom of expression, the special effects on authors and open data/science. Read more

Snippets not only may but will be illegal   16/01/2017 by Tom Hirche

Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament held an event labelled "Hearing on Copyright". One of the speakers was Giuseppe Abbamonte, the Commission's director of media policy at the DG CONNECT, who said that we might all act illegally when we share articles, as reported by Chris Spillane from POLITICO. Read more

British top scholars against European ancillary copyright for press publishers   17/12/2016 by Tom Hirche

A group of 37 professors and scholars of Intellectual Property, Information Law and Digital Economy have sent a joint letter to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) presenting their view on the ancillary copyright for press publishers as proposed by the EU Commission. They advise the UK Government to oppose this proposal for various reasons. Read more

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Berlin state government against ancillary copyright for press publishers   13/12/2016 by Tom Hirche

The three regional party associations of SPD, Die Linken and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, who will build the new government of the state of Berlin, have signed the coalition agreement for the next legislative period (2016-2021). Among many other things, the ancillary copyright for press publishers gets a mention. Read more

CEIPI's opinion on a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   13/12/2016 by Tom Hirche

On November 28, the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg has published its opinion on the European Commission's copyright reform proposal which was introduced on September 14, 2016. The opinion was written by Professor Christophe Geiger, Oleksandr Bulayenko and Giancarlo Frosio who solely focused on the proposed introduction of neighbouring rights for press publishers in EU law. In their view, the negative effects of the proposal prevail. Read more

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Our statement on the Commission's proposal regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers   05/12/2016 by Tom Hirche

On the 20th September 2016 the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection called on all stakeholders involved to provide their opinion on the EU Commission's proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM-directive). A few weeks later we submitted our statement which also functions as a condensed overview on all critical aspects regarding a European ancillary copyright for press publishers. Unfortunately, at that time it had only been available in German. But now you can either download an English version (PDF) or read the full text here: Read more

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How to solve the only specific problem of press publishers with copyright without an ancillary copyright    23/11/2016 by Till Kreutzer

The only argument of the press publishers in their quest for an own ancillary right that seems reasonable to a certain degree is their call for facilitated enforcement. They bemoan that it is difficult to enforce rights against mass online piracy. If this is a factual problem it can be solved easily without even touching the matter of an ancillary copyright. Read more

Conservative and innovative press are deeply divided   25/10/2016 by Tom Hirche

The ancillary copyright for press publishers is more and more often covered by German media recently. However, the choice of words differs tremendously: While conservative media worship the Holy Günther as their patron saint, the innovators identify the major risks deriving from his proposal and discuss them. Read more

Canadian publishers demand link tax   14/10/2016 by Tom Hirche

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Canada is infected. It took some time but now it is there. The very persistent thought that already overran Germany and Spain and is currently trying to subdue the European Union. Its name: Ancillary copyright for press publishers – or just the link tax. Read more

Debate in the Press Club Brussels: A tale about the lies of the publisher associations and the ignorance of the EU commission   11/10/2016 by Till Kreutzer

Yesterday, I was invited to speak at a public debate in the Press Club in Brussels. Main topic was the Commission’s proposal on the ancillary copyright. What I heard was a bunch of lies and a good measure of ignorance. Read more

Our new brochure is finally here!   06/10/2016 by Tom Hirche

After countless hours of work our new brochure "Ancillary Copyright for press publishers – Background and key issues" has arrived! It is easy to read and answers all relevant questions regarding an Ancillary Copyright for press publishers (AC). You can download it here for free. Read more

"This is a joke, right??"   30/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

It is always a great thing when politicians join the public discussion. Yesterday, EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger tried to defend his proposal on an ancillary copyright for press publishers on Twitter. But what he let loose was enough to drive one to despair.

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Oettinger: Put your online editors to silence!   28/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger gave a speech last Monday at the annual meeting of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV). There he explicitly called on the publishing houses to create more buzz in favor of his proposed ancillary copyright for press publishers/neighbouring right/link tax meaning he wants them to shush down their online magazines. Read more

Towards a better copyright   21/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

Two weeks ago, Communia together with EDRi held the event "Copyright reform – unlocking copyright for users?" in the European Parliament. It was hosted by MEPs Comodini Cachia (EPP) and Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). Several represantatives of digital rights' organizations, publishers, creative industries, collecting societies and artists took part and discussed the future of copyright. Film maker Sebastiaan ter Burg asked some of the experts from civil society organizations for their view on the current copyright reform and later created this nice short video to show their answers: Read more

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"Implementation of the old copyright industries' wishlist, with little that addresses online users' needs"   14/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

Today, the EU Commission has published its plans on introducing an ancillary copyright for basically any press publisher lasting a little over 20 years. Glyn Moody wrote an article published by ArsTechnika UK criticizing the draft. Read more

Draft copyright directive is out and a slap in the face of the Internet!   14/09/2016 by Till Kreutzer

Finally it is out: The draft for the new Digital Single Market Directive (DSM directive). The result is even worse than we expected it from the recently leaked preliminary draft document. Whereas the wish list of the press publishers gets ultimately fulfilled in the slightly changed final version, the public interest falls even more behind. Read more

ECJ litigation proves that publishers are lying about „not wanting to tax hyperlinks“   08/09/2016 by Till Kreutzer

Today the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided that linking to a work that has been uploaded illegally on the Internet might infringe copyright. The case was pushed by, inter alia, a publisher whose association EPC claims that the European request for a neighbouring right does not concern hyperlinking at all.

New Supporter!   07/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

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We are pleased to announce Allied for Startups as our newest supporter! The worldwide network of advocacy organizations focuses on improving the policy environment for startups to grow digital entrepreneurship and digital economy at large. They are the voice of startups. That is why, besides many other things, they have opened an office in Brussels last year with Lenard Koschwitz as the new director for European Affairs. As an ancillary copyright for press publishers is a great threat to startups, we could not be happier to have Allied for Startups by our side.