Open letter to MEPs – Stand up for a free, competitive and innovative press industry

On Wednesday 12 September, Members of the European Parliament will cast their vote that will determine the fate of the European press industry for the coming decades. We support a balanced proposal that ensurespublishers 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!


Dear Members of the European Parliament,

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 plurality 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 Article 11, as proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee and through the Rapporteur`s latest amendments, fail to achieve this. We believe the Internet is an opportunity, not a threat for the press industry.

Previous attempts to introduce a neighbouring right in Germany and Spain have failed to yield any economic benefits whilst disproportionately affecting small, online media publishers that heavily rely on a fragile ecosystem. Rather than doing good, it risks to severely disrupt the European media ecosystem, dismantle our innovative business models and stifle media pluralism.

We call on you to vote in favour of the amendments on Article 11 that seek to replace the introduction of an EU-wide neighbouring right, as proposed by the rapporteur, by granting press publishers with a legal presumption of ownership instead.

By doing so, you would be allowing press publishers to better enforce their intellectual property rights without severely upending existing and well-functioning market mechanisms.

We call on you to vote in favour of amendments 245, 246, 247 and 248 by MEP Marietje Schaake and more than 40 other MEPs from various political families as well as 212 and 213 by MEP Julia Reda on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group.

We believe the proposals presented by both MEP Marietje Schaake and MEP Julia Reda strike a fairer balance between ensuring publishers can better enforce their rights whilst preserving the fundamentals of the Internet. New barriers to entry would emerge for innovative players, such as ourselves, that would find it harder to reach new audiences. This would result in less innovation, a worse online consumer experience and, ultimately, less news sources available.

We call on you to make the right decision this Wednesday and support a regulatory environment that fosters a diverse, competitive, free and innovative media publishing sector.

Yours sincerely,

The Innovative Media Publishers

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