The negotiating mandate on copyright reform that has just been agreed is disappointing and changes are cosmetic in nature. The European Parliament will now enter into negotiations with the Council and the European Commission ("trilogue") in a weak position. The European Parliament's position on upload filters (Article 13) and links (Article 11) in the European Commission's proposal for the reform of the Copyright Directive are particularly controversial.
Julia Reda, shadow rapporteur of the Greens/EFA Group, comments:
"The majority of MEPs are satisfied with cosmetic changes and have ignored the loud protests from across science and civil society.
"Upload filters endanger a free internet. Those who want to stop the uploading of copyrighted material to large platforms such as YouTube and Facebook must not launch a preventive attack based on legal opinions. In the end, artists, European platforms and small start-ups are left empty-handed. The majority in the European Parliament has failed to protect copyright interests and freedom on the Internet with fair licences.
"Ancillary copyright law has not worked in Germany and is not a solution to the challenges facing press publishers and quality journalism. Even today, press articles are protected by copyright, so the new law will not generate any additional revenue from platforms that use them. Instead, even the use of small, non-copyrighted excerpts from articles will be punishable at the expense of small publishers who rely on links to their articles to reach their audiences."
Heidi Hautala, Greens/EFA coordinator in the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament, comments:
"Parliament has resolved the Value Gap problem in a way that still leaves many crucial questions unanswered: How to guarantee internet users privacy and freedom of expression? At worst, the line taken risks the creative potential of the internet.
For example, restrictive approach on text and data mining makes scientific research and development nearly impossible."