On 25 September, the Coalition of Innovative Media Publishers sent an open letter to policy makers expressing its reservations against the introduction of a EU-wide neighbouring right for news publishers.
On 26 and 27 September, Karen Autret (Association of French independent news publishers Spiil), Matteo Rainisio (ANSO, Italian National Association of the online press) and Victor Sanchez Del Real (Spanish Association of Periodical Publishers AEEPP), the coalition’s spokespersons, gathered in Brussels to meet with members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Council and with the Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to discuss their views, concerns and expectations regarding the copyright reform proposal.
The Coalition of Innovative Media Publishers believes that the introduction of a EU neighbouring right will threaten the futures of smaller, innovative, niche and regional publishers. Moreover, the proposed right will lead to unfair competition as bigger media companies will benefit from barriers to entry and better access to platforms.
As Jean-Christophe Boulanger, president of Spiil, highlights:
“Spiil promotes a fair ecosystem for the news media industry, to support independent and high quality journalism. We believe article 11 harms our industry for the following reasons:
- it would worsen publishers dependence on platforms
- it would create another revenue incentive to create mass audience content, at the expense of quality and diversity;
- it would help bigger publishers, at the expense of smaller ones who will not have the resources to benefit from it.”
With respect to alternative options, such as the presumption of representation, Matteo Rainisio from ANSO said:
“It eases enforcement of publishers’ existing rights without affecting the ecosystem and our business models. We would need more information on how the presumption would work in practice, and encourage policy makers to avoid any discrimination amongst types of newspapers”.
While many policy makers support the idea of a publisher right, the coalition believes that its messages and open letter were well received by policy makers. Victor Sanchez de Real from AEEPP stressed the following:
“We see some movement from the status quo, with many from the group supportive of Article 11 also becoming more receptive to our concerns and arguments. We hope that our voice will be heard in the debate, and that a solution that takes into account the interests of innovative media publishers will be found.”
Signed by Innovative Media Publishers