Brussels, 14 February 2019 – EuroISPA regrets the outcome of yesterday’s trilogue, where the representatives of the European Parliament and the Council approved the Copyright Directive reform.
With this decision, the negotiators clearly showed that the concerns of civil society, users, academia, industry, founders of the Internet, and the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression continuously fell on deaf ears. Recently, even the music, audio-visual, broadcasting and sports sectors – originally strong proponents of this provision – joined the protest against Article 13.
Innocenzo Genna, Chair of the Innovation and Growth Committee, stated: “These rules will impose upload filters on platforms, impacting the competitiveness of European innovative SMEs, and leading to the over-blocking of legal content. Article 11, if adopted, would change the Internet as we know it: an ancillary copyright would affect small platforms and innovative online publishers, while limiting the ability of European users to use hyperlinks and share snippets online. Ultimately, this would have a significant negative impact on freedom of expression in Europe”.
Furthermore, the Copyright Directive reform would lead to further fragmentation of the Digital Single Market, instead of harmonisation, as Member States with different legal cultures will implement it differently and create legal uncertainty for the industry.
As the EU elections approach, the Members of the European Parliament should use this opportunity to vote this reform down – a vote closely watched by the EU electorate. As more than 4 million concerned citizens signed a petition to voice their concerns, EuroISPA calls on MEPs to reject the current text, in order to explore new constructive solutions during the next European legislature.