Four Million EU Voters Sign Call Against Upload Filters, Protection Of ‘Snippets’ 13/12/2018 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ahead of the 5th trilogue meeting on the future copyright regulation between the rapporteurs of the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission on 13 December in Strasbourg, France, copyright activists collected over 4 million signatories to a petition to amend the draft legislation. Meanwhile, a court decision in Germany today puts use of its auxiliary copyright law for press publishers in question. According to the organisers, this was the single largest petition ever started on change.org. Two aspects especially controversial are Article 11, which provides for a so-called snippet law – an auxiliary copyright for publishers who hope to be awarded licensing fees from internet platforms for small excerpts from their publications. Proof for the efficiency of such a regime is still pending, with similar provisions in Germany and Spain being unsuccessful in becoming a new source of remuneration of publishers from the likes of Google. The second controversial bit is Article 13, which obliges platforms and hosters to avoid the publication and re-publication of copyrighted content. Given the amount of user generated material flowing through various sorts of provider machines, automatic filtering is promoted as a tool. Given that the responsibility – and liability – will not only rest on large providers like Google, but also smaller ones with less deep pockets, to set up filtering tools as Google did for its YouTube service, opponents fear not only over-blocking, but also a push for market consolidation. In its paper for the final discussion with Commission and Parliament negotiators, the Council considered options that could prevent rights owners to simply block use of copyrighted material, making an obligation to license to users part of the deal. The four million signatures supporting the SavetheInternet campaign seem too big a number to be overlooked. But a highly topical study by the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) describes how large numbers on the contrary have been interpret as being just manipulated by large lobby organisations. Drawing data from transparency registers by the EU commissioners and lists from a few parties, CEO calculated the time the legislators spent with lobbyists. The results contradict complaints by big publishers and their organisations, that it had been Google and other big tech companies that have pushed their agenda. The most frequently listed names according to CEO are: “IFPI–Representing recording industry worldwide (37 meetings) whose members include Sony Music and Warner Music, followed by the Federation of European Publishers which represents national associations of book publishers, and GESAC– the European lobby for collecting societies (25), whose members include big EU collecting societies such as PRS for Music, the US giant recording, the US giant recording label Universal Music Group International (22), and the Society of Audiovisual Authors (22), which represents national collecting societies.” Also the large publishers, according to CEO, have much closer and longstanding ties to legislators. Referring to a meeting between the CEO of German publisher Springer, Guenter Oettinger and Axel Voss, CEO noted “a meeting between a Parliament Rapporteur, the Commissioner formerly in charge for a policy issue, and a key lobbyist is highly unusual.“ Non-commercial voices, CEO said, may remain unheard and are brushed aside. Meanwhile, the German version of the auxiliary copyright for press publishers also might be declared invalid, according to news coming from the Court of Justice of the European Union. Advocate General Hogan today found that “the Court should rule that the new German rules prohibiting search engines from providing excerpts of press products without prior authorisation by the publisher must not be applied,” according to a press release. Hogan acknowledged “it would be foolish and naïve not to recognise that the traditional commercial model of newspapers right throughout the EU – sales and advertising – has been undermined within the last twenty years by on-line reading of newspapers by consumers, which practice has in turn been facilitated by the advent of powerful search engines such as that operated by Google.“ Still, the German legislator broke EU law by not notifying the Commission, it was found. The Court in many cases follows the Advocate General‘s recommendation, but Germany for the future might be able to rely on the new EU regulation. Image Credits: SavetheInternet Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."Four Million EU Voters Sign Call Against Upload Filters, Protection Of ‘Snippets’" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.