European Parliament and member states finally found an agreement about the EU new rules about copyright. Indeed, the EU is trying to adapt its rules to protect the right of creators in the digital era. After the Directive was approved by the Parliament (September 12th, 2018), negotiations started. In particular 2 articles finished under accuse: article 11 and article 13.
The Directive, in fact, was accused to undermine online freedom of expression. Probably you will remember the strike Wikipedia started to oppose the Directive, darkening its pages in Europe. What was in danger was also the possibility to quote the title of an article (on Twitter, for example) or the possibility to use contents for parody or pastiche.
With the update, first of all, the big change of rules will touch mostly big companies: Youtube, Facebook and Google News. In fact, small companies and startups will be subject to smaller obligations, if compared to the big ones.
One of the crucial points is that online platforms will no longer be able to earn money from journalists’ and artists’ works, unless they don’t pay them fairly. This gives more power to creators, who will be able to negotiate the price of their works used online.
It will be possible to share articles, but companies have to find agreements with producers for snippets and/or photos. A “snippet” is the short description of the article that we read when we meet a link on a social platform.
Big companies (the small ones and the startups are exonerated) are responsible for the violations of the copyright in the hosted contents.
Actually, to face this issue, companies shouldn’t use filters, but cooperate with producers in order not to penalize work that do not violate copyright. Furthermore, they should create a fast complaint procedure (managed by humans) to solve the unfair removal of a content.
This means that all contents, with no commercial purposes, published on online encyclopedias or open source platform, will not be subject to copyright limitations. It will also be possible to keep on using pictures or quotes for memes.
According to the MEP Axel Voss, one of the promoters of the Directive, it was a good compromise, but in the future other must be done on issues like the responsibility of online platforms.
And what is your idea? Did the EU need this reform? Was it done in the right way? Should it be improved? Should something be removed?
Tell us in a comment.