Brussels
11 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Votes due on Digital Single Market’s copyright directive


European Parliament committees will today vote on key amendments to the new copyright directive, specifically dealing with mandatory upload filtering by user content platforms (Article 13) and the controversial publishing right (Article 11).

The committee on culture and education (CULT) will vote on proposals that would effectively ban online streaming services from hosting works under free licences.

The proposal asks members states to ensure that “when authors and performers transfer or assign the right of making available to the public of their works or other subject matter for online on-demand services, they retain the right to obtain fair remuneration derived from the direct exploitation of their works present in the catalogue of their services”.

Effectively, this allows collecting societies to tax copyright works on online streaming services, with authors and performers unable to waive the tax.

Advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has urged members of CULT to vote for the deletion of Article 11 and 13, rather than make them worse with amendments.

The industry, research and energy committee (ITRE) will also vote on amendments to Article 11 and 13, including replacing Article 11 with a provision that allows press publishers to stand in for journalists and enforce copyright on news articles.

The EFF has described this amendment as “relatively unobjectionable”, but added that ITRE doesn’t go far enough with its amendments to Article 13 and “continues to require platforms to take additional measures such as upload filtering at the behest of copyright holders”.

The consumer protection and internal market committee (IMCO), as well as the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee will also vote on both articles today, with IMCO rallying against Article 13.

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