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ITRE deceives itself by attacking research and open access   21/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

Already three out of five EP Committees have voted on their opinion on the Commission's Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. So far it seems we are heading into a future where a European wide publisher's right will be present. One particular Committee even tries to directly attack open access publishing. Read more

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Two more EP Committies gang up against free linking   12/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

After the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on its opinion on the new Copyright Directive a month ago, it were the Committees for Culture and Education (CULT) and for Industry, Research and Energy (IRTE) that both had their turns yesterday. The result: the suggestion of an even worse ancillary copyright for press publishers. Read more

Parliament's largest group to fully endorse Commission's proposal for a link tax   09/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

The European Commission's proposal for an ancillary copyright for press publishers has received a tremendous amount of criticism from many MEPs of all groups of the European Parliament. But now the largest group, the European People's Party (EPP), has adopted a joint position that fully supports the Commission's line while ignoring the European people's voices and all academic advice. Read more

Google's design changes might soon end all lawsuits   03/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

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German courts have to deal with a variety of lawsuits that involve the German ancillary copyright for press publishers. But Google's design changes might bringt a sudden end. Read more

Cheap trick shall make us think the Spanish link tax works   03/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

The Spanish link tax is indeed no success story. All it "achieved" so far is the permanent shutdown of Google News Spain which led to a large drop in publishers' site views while not accumulating a single euro. Although this situation will change with the just closed deal, it first and foremost tries to shamelessly fool us into thinking that the link tax is actually working. Read more

Publisher associations lie to S&D MEPs   03/07/2017 by Till Kreutzer

We got word that the European publisher organisations EMMA, ENPA, EPC and NME addressed all S&D MEPs last week in an email. Here they explain how and why a neighbouring/ancillary copyright for press publishers would be so fundamental, e.g. for quality journalism, to pay journalists et cet. As usual, the text is full of lies and allegations. Most of the arguments are well known and were rebutted by many commentators on many occasions (read about these and others e.g. here and here) before. Allow us, nonetheless, a brief comment. Read more

Ansip only believes in surveys that confirm his view   02/07/2017 by Tom Hirche

The European Commission regularly makes use of surveys to gather a wide array of opinions from various stakeholders. But when the result does not meet the preconceived view, its relevance will simply be denied, as it seems. Read more

Rogue members try to hijack LIBE Committee   14/06/2017 by Tom Hirche

Almost a month ago, in mid May 2017, the draft opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the EU-Commission's proposal for a new copyright directive has officially been published. As things just turned out, some hardliners suddenly want to amend it so that it will be strongly in favour of an ancillary copyright for press publishers. Read more

IMCO supports link tax – several MEPs did not attend the vote   08/06/2017 by Tom Hirche

This morning, the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive (2016/0280(COD)) as the first of five committees. The outcome is of great significance to the other votes that are yet to come. Unfortunately, the ancillary copyright for press publishers is still very much alive. Read more

New paper discusses publisher's right – "unnecessary and dangerous"   01/06/2017 by Tom Hirche

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With the support of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the European Policy Centre (EPC) has published a new discussion paper titled "Rewarding quality journalism or distorting the Digital Single Market? The case for and against neighbouring rights for press publishers". It is divided into an economy analysis (part I) and a legal analysis (part II). Read more

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The "Alternative Compromise" could hardly be worse   31/05/2017 by Tom Hirche

In her just published blog post, MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) draws attention to the alarming developments within the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee. Instead of joining the committee's internal negotiations, Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont (EPP) is currently gathering support for his own "Alternative Compromise Amendment on Publisher’s Right" which is the worst we have seen so far in this debate. Read more

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