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EU Parliament told to tone down anti-copyright law stance

by on16 July 2018

We must protect newspapers with a silly law

EU digital chief Andrus Ansip  called EU lawmakers to tone down their tough line on copyright reforms as Europe races to agree rules which will force tech giants to share revenues with publishers, broadcasters and artists.

Publishers want cash to prop up their dying industry and have suggested a link tax which would go to them if a story is printed on the interwebs in any form – including search results and use which is currently public domain.

Ansip, who put forward the European Commission’s proposal two years ago, said the overhaul was necessary to protect Europe’s cultural heritage and create a level playing field between big online platforms. Regulators are particularly worried about creative industries losing out when their works are uploaded illegally on to Google’s YouTube, Vivendi majority-owned video-sharing site Dailymotion and Berlin-based free streaming music app SoundCloud and others.

Ansip’s comments came as lawmakers at the European Parliament scrambled to come up with a unified stance on the issue, a week after a majority rejected the tough approach proposed by a key committee at the assembly.

Lawmakers are set to vote on amendments to the committee’s proposal on September 12 before kicking off talks with the Commission and the 28 EU countries to reconcile the three different positions.

“It is clear they have to move towards our initial proposal”, Ansip told journalists. He said the vote showed that lawmakers were against a proposal that went too far.

While the Commission’s proposal targets big online platforms, the parliamentary committee subsequently broadened the scope to give more power to Europe’s creative industries.

“We have to get rules for the digital age”, Ansip said.

He said it was time to stop the lobby slogans, referring to the fierce campaign waged by both sides in the run-up to the parliamentary vote last week, and time to start looking for compromises.

Last modified on 16 July 2018
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