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EC chiefs welcome copyright vote

September 13, 2018

By Colin Mann

Following the European Parliament’s September 12th adoption of its negotiating position on the Copyright Directive proposed by the European Commission in September 2016, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel have welcomed the outcome in a joint statement:

“We welcome today’s vote at the European Parliament. It is a strong and positive signal and an essential step to achieving our common objective of modernising the copyright rules in the European Union.”

“Discussions between the co-legislators can now start on a legislative proposal which is a key element of the Digital Single Market strategy and one of the priorities for the European Commission.””

“Our aim for this reform is to bring tangible benefits for EU citizens, researchers, educators, writers, artists, press and cultural heritage institutions and to open up the potential for more creativity and content by clarifying the rules and making them fit for the digital world. At the same time, we aim to safeguard free speech and ensure that online platforms – including 7,000 European online platforms – can develop new and innovative offers and business models.”

“The Commission stands ready to start working with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, so that the directive can be approved as soon as possible, ideally by the end of 2018. We are fully committed to working with the co-legislators in order to achieve a balanced and positive outcome enabling a true modernisation of the copyright legislation that Europe needs.”

The copyright reform was tabled by the Commission on September 14th 2016 as part of the Digital Single Market strategy. The Council of the European Union agreed its position on adapting EU copyright rules to the digital environment in May 2018. After the vote in the European Parliament, the trilogue discussions between the co-legislators will begin soon. The new rules can enter into force after the agreement is found and the Directive officially adopted.

The copyright reform focuses on three main objectives:

  • More cross-border access for citizens to copyright-protected content online.
  • Wider opportunities to use copyrighted material for education, research, cultural heritage and disability (through so-called ‘exceptions).
  • Clearer rules of the game for a functioning copyright marketplace, which stimulates creation of high-quality content.

With the proposed Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market, the Commission wants:

  • To bring up to date and harmonise some important exceptions to the copyright rules in the fields of research, education and preservation of cultural heritage;
  • to foster quality journalism;
  • to ensure that those who create and invest in the production of content have a say in whether and how their content is made available by online platforms and get paid for their content;
  • to increase transparency and balance in the contractual relationships between the creators (authors and performers) and their producers and publishers.

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