Parliament gears up for final copyright directive vote

Written by Martin Banks on 26 March 2019 in News

The protracted legislative passage of the controversial EU copyright directive will reach its conclusion today when Parliament votes on the provisional deal.

Photo Credit: Fotolia

A deal agreed in February aims to ensure the rights and obligations of copyright law are applied to the internet.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg will today vote for the last time on the draft legislation which has been steered through the assembly by Parliament’s rapporteur on the file, German centre-right deputy, Axel Voss.

Even though the tech giants are unhappy with some of its content, members are expected to back the proposals.


Voss says he has come under intense pressure to water down the provisions in the directive but insists that the new rules will “allow for fair payment for the work of journalists and creatives published on the internet.”

This, he said, will ensure that “high-quality media and content is preserved in Europe” and that European creators will be “better protected in the online world.”

The legislation being voted on by MEPs at the plenary is also endorsed by the Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs.

It represents some 4 million “creators” globally and has called for the “immediate” adoption of the copyright directive.

In a statement, it says, “For years, artists have been struggling to obtain fair remuneration for the use of their works online. While major digital platforms have hugely benefitted, the creators of these works have been the last party to share in their commercial success.”

The organisation says the new directive is an “important step towards correcting this imbalance and bringing fairness to the internet.”

It goes on, “The current text of the directive lays down essential principles that will help creators of all repertoires achieve fairer remuneration for their works in the digital market.”

“For the first time, it would clarify that commercial user upload platforms that make use of musical, visual, audiovisual, literary and other works are subject to copyright laws and need to be licensed by the creators of those works.”

“The current text of the directive lays down essential principles that will help creators of all repertoires achieve fairer remuneration for their works in the digital market” Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs

It praises Parliament for showing “leadership” for producing a legislative framework which would help the current and the next generation of artists in Europe and beyond.

Elsewhere, 270 European and international organisations from the cultural sector also want adoption of the directive.

Representing creators, performers, publishers, producers, news agencies and cultural workers, they say the European digital single market will be “fairer, bigger and more inclusive” if the draft is adopted.

However, the tech giants take a different view and are deeply unhappy with the legislation in its current form.

A source at Google said, “Whilst we support copyright reform and recognise that the text has been improved, we are still concerned the directive will have unintended consequences that will hurt Europe’s creative economy for decades to come.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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