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.

Fortunately, Comodini still wants to delete the proposed new ancillary copyright for press publishers completely (see amendment 52 and the following). Instead:

Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with a presumption of representation of authors of literary works contained in those publications and the legal capacity to sue in their own name when defending the rights of such authors for the digital use of their press publications.

This simple "trick" – which had been introduced by IGEL's Dr. Till Kreutzer before – will effectively tackle the publishers' enforcement problems while it dispenses the need for an ancillary copyright at the same time. The wording of the report's justification has been shortened and slightly changed to a lean statement (emphasis added):

It is important that the challenges press publishers face in enforcing the derivative rights upon which they depend to protect the investment made in their publication are addressed in a manner that strengthens the position of press publishers, but does not disrupt other industries. Press publishers are thus given the right to bring proceedings in their own name before tribunals against infringers of the rights held by the authors of the works contained in their press publication and to be presumed to have representation over the works contributed to the press publication.

Günther Oettinger's ancillary copyright seems to die a slow but steady death thanks to representatives that not only care about the industries' but also the civil society's interests.

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