On 29 October, we sent an open letter to the Austrian Presidency of the European Council and rapporteur Axel Voss MEP on Article 11 and Recital 32 of the proposed Copyright Directive as adopted by the European Parliament, urging them to reject these hamful provisions that would introduce a remuneration principle which prohibits publishers from allowing indexing of their content online without remuneration. We support a balanced proposal that ensures publishers can better enforce their rights whilst preserving the fundamentals of the Internet.
Join us by sharing MediaPublishers this open letter with relevant policy makers and express your concerns regarding the proposal!
RE: Open letter to the Austrian Presidency of the European Council and rapporteur Axel Voss MEP on Article 11 and Recital 32 of the proposed Copyright Directive
Dear Mr. Oberreiter,
Dear Mr. Voss,
We, the Coalition of Innovation Media Publishers, represent associations of small and medium sized publishers, media companies and digital native outlets, committed to producing high quality news and relying on online channels to reach and grow our audiences and daily provide more than 1.37 million stories to 140 million readers.
We stand for freedom of the press, innovative media, media pluralism and quality journalism. As innovative, modern, forward looking media, we are committed to maintaining an open and competitive regulatory environment that supports our businesses.
However, we’ve noted with deep regret that both the European Council and the European Parliament are advocating for the creation of a new publishers’ right (Article 11 of the proposed Copyright Directive) instead of other alternatives, such as the presumption of rights, put forth by a wide range of stakeholders.
If the European institutions go ahead with the creation of such a right, we believe that it should incorporate key provisions that at least reduce some of the collateral damage to small and medium-sized publishers we expect, including with a view to transposition into national law.
We would like to highlight a highly problematic provision adopted by the European Parliament: Article 11 (1) and Recital 32 introduce a remuneration principle which prohibits publishers from allowing indexing of their content online without remuneration. Recital 32 means that news aggregators, podcast aggregators and search engines would not be allowed to serve links with individual words and short extracts of news publisher content without a bespoke agreement stipulating payment – even when a news publisher wishes to be included.
We adamantly believe that any publisher’s right must give publishers the choice to consent to the sharing of their content online. Aggregators, search engines and other online services drive valuable traffic to publishers’ websites, particularly smaller or local ones; and this traffic referral creates huge opportunities to generate revenue through advertising.
Limiting publishers’ freedom in this way will result in detrimental consequences for us, as shown by a similar experience in Spain. The introduction of an unwaivable ancillary copyright in favor of publishers in Spain caused small publishers to lose as much as 15% of their web traffic. This is estimated to have cost the Spanish news publishing industry €10 million a year.
We therefore urge you to preserve media pluralism in Europe by protecting small, local and regional publishers. In doing so, we urge you to reject the European Parliament’s position on Article 11 (1) and Recital 32.
The European Innovation Media Publishers
Carlos Astiz, Chairman of the European Innovation Media Publishers
Association of Publishers of Periodical Publications (AEEPP) – Spain
Associazione Nazionale Stampa Online (ANSO) – Italy
Syndicat de la presse indépendante d’information en ligne (Spiil) – France
300polityka – Poland
Prauda – Denmark
Dennik – Slovakia
Meltygroup – Slovakia
Golem.de – Germany
Echo24.cz – Czech Republic