CRUCIAL VOTE ON COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE: MEPs REJECT THE NEGOTIATION MANDATE
Today at 12.00 a majority of MEPs rejected the negotiation mandate based on the JURI Committee (legal affairs) position. If agreed upon, the mandate would have allowed the Parliament to negotiate the text proposed by the JURI Committee with the Council and the European Commission (so-called trilogue). Now that the mandate has been rejected, a debate will be held during the next plenary in September. MEPs will also be able propose amendments and a new vote will take place
Why is it bad news:
- Copyright is the backbone of our industry. If there is no copyright, there are no booksellers. It is also the basis of many other businesses like cinema, radio, sport, TV, video, videogames, music, etc.
- Despite the fierce lobbying of the creative and cultural sector industries, it seems that many decision makers have still not understood what is at stake.
- The lobbying techniques of heavy-weight opponents such as Google have shown no limits (E.g Wikipedia Spain, Italy and Poland blacked out today to push for a rejection of the mandate) , millions of € spent…and misinformation seems to have been spread deliberately
- The debate seems to have focused nearly exclusively on the role of platforms, their “free” access to content and their (non)- willingness to remunerate creators, and a strong fear of possible “censorship”
- Some MEPs, with whom we are used to work and who have always been active advocates of our sector have voted against the mandate.
- The next elections being in April 2019, the Austrian Presidency has to finalise ALL the files tabled during this legislation. There is a risk that this sensitive file be dealt with in a rush and businesses do not like legal uncertainty
- At the same time the process might be a very long one if not completed during this Parliamentary cyle
- The compromise on the table was the result of tough negotiations, there is a risk of destroying everything if MEPs start from scratch in September
- Creators need to be paid and there is an urgent need to adapt copyright to the Internet age, especially for the use of material by Google and co.
Below, some reaction about the vote:
MEP Julia Reda, Germany, GREENS/EFA (pirate party)
Andrus Ansip, EC Vice-President in charge of the Digital Agenda
MEP Sylvie Guillaume, France, S&D
278 MEPs voted in favour, 378 against and 31 abstained. Find out here how your own MEPs voted
FEP also published a press release that you can find here
Now more than ever is the time to support all creative and cultural industries, as strong copyright rules are key to a sustainable and vibrant creative economy online and offline.
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