Open letter to the Romanian Presidency of the European Council on Article 11 of the proposed Copyright Directive

Today, 7 February, we the Coalition of European Innovative Media Publishers together with 25 small and medium sized publishers, media companies and digital native outlets, sent a letter to the Member States representatives, European Commission and MEPs with our concerns on Article 11 of the Copyright Directive. We ask them to take these concerns into consideration at tomorrow’s crucial meeting.

In particular, we highlight that although a substantial number of big press publishers are in favour of the introduction of a publishers’ right, we are deeply concerned with the detrimental effects that it will have for local, regional and innovative media publishers and media pluralism in Europe. 

In order to introduce the appropriate safeguards to ensure that all-sized media publishers can continue to coexist in the EU, we called on policy-makers to consider the following recommendations:

1 – “Insubstantial parts” of a press publication to be excluded.

  • Maintain the exclusion of “mere facts” from the scope of the Directive, as currently proposed in recital 34;
  • Exclude headlines and short previews from the scope of the new publisher’s right in order to preserve our business model. Specifically:

– Recital 34a: (…) “Therefore, it is appropriate to provide that the use of individual words, very short extracts, headlines or very short previews of press publications should not fall within the scope of the rights provided for in this Directive”.

– Article 11 (1): “The rights referred to in the first subparagraph shall not apply in respect of uses of individual words, very short extracts, headlines or very short previews of a press publication”.

2 – Waivability

  • A New Recital 34a: “The rights granted to the publishers of press publications under this Directive are exclusive in nature and allow publishers of press publications to authorise or prohibit the uses of their press publications against the payment of remuneration or for free, for instance through free licences. The parties should remain free to negotiate the terms of use of the press publications”.

Read our letter here.

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The European Innovative Media Publishers

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