A new hub for debate about EU copyright reform

The EU copyright reform plans unveiled in September 2016 have triggered strong reactions from a broad range of professionals, academics, and organisations who will be affected by the law. Most of them were critical.

The stated mission for the reform was “to tear down national silos in copyright law” and to update the law for the information age. While the proposal falls far short of these goals, they are still far-reaching, sure to have a huge impact on internet users, news readers, social media platforms, start-ups, researchers, teachers and many others. A detailed analysis and public debate is necessary.

For this publication, we have asked stakeholders who represent different parts of the ecosystem affected by the reform to assess the plans. We are thrilled to have among the contributors leading academics like Dr. Eleonora Rosati, Dr. Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon, Dr. Christina Angelopoulos and Dr. Till Kreutzer; organisations like Mozilla, EDRi (Diego Naranjo - EDRi), Creative Commons (Timothy Vollmer), Copyright4Creativity, Communia (Alek Tarkowski) and Kennisland (Lisette Kalshoven); as well as professionals like Martin Doucha and Innocenzo Genna and journalists like Jennifer Baker.

Critics approach the proposal from very different perspectives. They highlight its expected impact on online businesses, the need for legal clarity or the threat to fundamental rights. Yet they arrive at a similar conclusion: This reform doesn’t live up to expectations of a modernization of copyright law 15 years after the EU’s copyright directive (the “InfoSoc Directive”) was adopted. It should not be enacted as proposed.

We’ve tried to highlight most of the burning issues with the reform:

  • the content monitoring provisions (here, here, here, here and here),
  • the dangers to freedom of expression (here and here),
  • the threat to the freedom of hyperlinking (here and here)
  • the legal framework for text and data mining (here, here, here and here),
  • the consequences for startups and competition (here),
  • the importance of broader exceptions for education (here and here).

But this is just the beginning. This publication is open to additional stakeholders who wish to underline the urgency of amending the proposal; we will continue to gladly accept contributions. If you want to express your concerns and propose improvements, you are welcome to submit your contribution at medium@juliareda.eu.

Vincenzo Tiani, Editor
MEP Julia Reda, Publisher