Copyright directive: Qwant’s position

Dejan Krsmanovic, Small Bedroom Recording Studio (CC by 2.0)

As the European Parliament is about to vote on the Copyright Directive, Qwant strongly asserts its commitment to respect the values ​​of the European Union, including the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as the development of a free and open Internet. We believe that a progressive and balanced position is essential for the development of a sustainable digital ecosystem.

As a search engine we believe that it is important, as provided by Article 11 of the Directive, that the press be paid when its content is exploited and contributes to the value of our service. For this reason, we consider it useful for press editors and journalists that the directive be adopted. Whatever the choice of MEPs, Qwant will actively and ambitiously contribute to the financing of the press by returning a fair share of its revenues to publishers.

We also understand the objectives of Article 13 of the Directive, which aims to ensure remuneration for authors of creations used on content sharing platforms. Indeed, we support the principle of a fair reward for the worlds of culture and creation. Qwant asks in this respect that a sustainable solution that respects the rights and interests of all can be developed, in the interest of the European digital sovereignty and of the necessary transparency in the regulation of content. It appears to us essential to think about the enforcement conditions. In the context of future transpositions, it is necessary to take into account the diversity of actors and to avoid negative consequences for Europe.

We can and we must collectively grasp the transpositions of Article 13 to make it an opportunity to rethink copyright protection in the digital age, in an innovative way that allows full compatibility with the free and open Internet. We have to part ways with old patterns and with closed technologies of the Web giants, which would make our businesses and creators dependent on them.

To enable to progress collectively in this direction, Qwant will actively and resolutely engage with governments and national parliaments to fully take into account the necessary availability of open source technologies with open databases filled by the rights holders. They shall allow all players in the European digital industry to better identify copyrighted works without relying on proprietary technologies of third parties, and to respect the legal exceptions to copyright, when they are necessary for the freedom of expression. This open platform must be a prerequisite for any application of the directive.

In order for this condition to be fulfilled, Qwant will help bring these technologies to life as quickly as possible and will propose standards that will reconcile the respect for intellectual property rights, European sovereignty, and the defense of a free and open Internet.