Each month, one of our members shares with us its views on the copyright debate. This week Matteo Rainisio* speaks about Article 11 and 13 and his participation in the #Switch! event. Have a look!
Matteo Rainisio is Founder and CEO of Edinet and Vice-President of ANSO (Italian National Association of the online press) and member of the Coalition of European Innovative Media Publishers
The copyright reform has kept businesses and policy makers busy for more than a year now. Discussions are dragging on longer than expected and the large number of industries involved makes it difficult to understand how rules will work out in the end.
However we, at Anso.it, know very well that the proposed reform will have a massive negative impact on our business and on many others like us.
With a network of more than 155 associated publishers, ANSO speaks on behalf of the innovative digital press and has condemned, on numerous occasions, the introduction of both a neighbouring right and filtering obligations.
We believe that, with those rules in place, it will become much more difficult for our news to get discovered, ingested and enjoyed. It came as a shock when EU institutions put forward provisions of this kind, despite the telling experiences of Germany and Spain with ancillary copyright, and the CJEU rulings against a 360-degree monitoring of user-generated content. Yet again, we feel that our concerns have not been heard and that the internet, which allowed us to launch and grow our businesses, is regarded with mistrust.
As VP of ANSO and founder of Edinet, the first and only local ISP in the area of Savona, I got the chance to share our thoughts at the event #Switch!, held in Kaunas (LT) last month and hosted by MEP Antanas Guoga; there we found out that many people agree that technology creates opportunities. I often say that without the internet, I’d be out on the street. And this applies not only to me, but to many others: a whole ecosystem would be put at jeopardy if the proposed Copyright Directive and its rules (Articles 11 and 13 in particular) pass as they stand today.
Small digital publishers have developed and flourished in the existing media ecosystem, where they found room to scale up and reach even bigger and wider audiences. While changing the rules of the market half way will penalise and force us to change our business models abruptly, it also risks creating a domino effect that will majorly hamper innovation, and inhibit the creation of new models and the establishment of new creative businesses. Start-ups and smaller enterprises have limited resources and react more slowly to a sudden change of technology requirements; in the short-term, they will have to slow down their activities in order to avoid non-compliance. At the same time, prescriptive rules discourage entrepreneurs from setting up new businesses as the uncertainty caused by complicated compliance criteria scares both businesses and investors which, in turn, puts financing opportunities at risk.”
Only larger enterprises and business have enough resources, capacity and R&D departments that are capable and strong enough to react quickly, develop the necessary technology and then comply with directives. In the longer term, smaller businesses will need to buy the technology that the big ones have already developed or wait for them to release such technologies for free. At the same time, the EU will find itself losing a whole sphere of innovators while larger companies will have expanded and strengthened their business even more. To avoid this, policy makers should listen to the numerous voices urging against an ancillary copyright for press publishers and filtering obligations. The copyright reform, in line with the objectives of the Digital Single Market Strategy, should lead to the creation of an environment where digital services can grow and flourish, and where smaller providers’ survival is not threatened.
*Matteo Rainisio is Founder and CEO of Edinet and Vice-President of ANSO (Italian National Association of the online press) and member of the Coalition of European Innovative Media Publishers
** You can find the whole recording of the event here