This is the outcome of today’s vote on a new Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market. “Our main goal is not only to adjust intellectual property rules to today’s technical development, but also to support artists’ creations and protect works of publishers and journalists by approving our position on copyright reform. Right-holders will be better protected from the unauthorised exploitation of their copyright-protected works”, said Axel Voss MEP, Parliament’s Spokesman on copyright. The new Directive addresses the problem of the so-called value gap, in which internet online platforms bear no legal responsibility over the copyright-protected content that has been uploaded to their website by users. Furthermore, the Directive introduces new rules regarding publishers’ rights, as well as setting a text and data mining exception.
The Parliament adopted a number of compromise amendments presented by Voss that take into account concerns raised during the plenary vote in July. The Parliament has clearly stated that the online platforms that profit from copyright-protected works uploaded by its users should bear responsibility for the uploaded content. “The new definition of scope defines the services that are exempt from this obligation: small companies, start-ups, online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia. Providers of cloud services for individual use are also exempt. The new rules target the big platforms that make a profit from sharing user-uploaded copyright-protected works that they do not own. We have seen so far that many large tech companies have been exploiting works of artists and creators without properly paying them. Therefore we need to establish a fair balance between European right-holders (artists, authors, musicians) and the online platforms. They need to conclude licenses with the right-holders. Users who are covered by the platform’s licenses will gain more certainty, also because of the new redress mechanism in case their rights are not respected”, said Voss.
Axel Voss welcomed the vote regarding the protection of press publications on the internet. The Parliament backed new publishers’ rights which protect press content on the internet. What is at stake is the survival of journalism and the safeguard of the quality of journalistic work. “Press publishers should receive compensation for the use of their content on the internet as most of the generated revenue at the moment goes to the news aggregators. We want to strengthen the role of smaller publishing houses so they can better defend themselves against the big internet platforms in order to receive fair remuneration for their content. We also made sure that the press publishers share additional incomes directly with the journalists. This is the only way to protect independent journalism and save the whole profession”, concluded Voss.