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Copyright

2019

UN Special Rapporteur David Kayne stated that the European Union’s Copyright Directive proposal should not impose a liability regime on online platforms that put in risk freedom of expression. Article 13 of the latest version of the proposal provides that content sharing platforms must license copyright protected material from the rights holders. The service provider will be held liable if it cannot prove that the content was licensed, the rights were not available and that it acted quickly to remove infringing material. Kayne considers that article 13 seems to drive online platforms toward monitoring and restriction of user-generated content. He claims that this pressure for pre-filtering content is “neither necessary nor proportionate” to address copyright violations online.​​

UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, speaking about the controversial proposed Article 13 of the European Union Copyright Directive, said 'Europe has a responsibility to modernise its copyright law to address the challenges of the digital age. ... But this should not be done at the expense of the freedom of expression that Europeans enjoy today.' He especially criticised pressure to implement pre-publication filtering to monitor and restrict user-generated content to prevent copyright infringement 

The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission announced in a press release that a political agreement was reached on the draft of the Copyright Directive, a result of trilogue being held since September 2018. The EU Parliament and the Council need to approve the agreed compromise into law. According to the European Parliament, no new rights or obligations are being created, and the ordinary user will not be affected. The EU Copyright Directive will regulate the existing rights and obligations of large internet platforms with content creators, making sure that the content creators such as artists and  journalists have a more equal position towards the big internet platforms.

After the meeting of the EU Council and strong disagreement from ambassadors of member states about the text of copyright reform, the final stage in the process is postponed. There were 11  countries against the current proposal. While Germany suggested to exempt the application of article 13 to medium-size businesses with turnovers above €20 million, France strongly opposed this proposal. Many discussions were around article 11 and how to apply it. Finally, the spokesperson of Romania said that the council needs more time to decide on the copyright reform proposal.

Amidst discussions related to the EU copyright reform, a group of 95 screenwriters and directors formed a lobby group. The group advocates for proportional remuneration in article 14. They addressed their proposals in a letter stating that audiovisual authors should be able to live off their work. The group thinks that article 14 needs further specification in order to provide real fair and proportionate remuneration. They ask for explicit reference to ‘proportionate remuneration’ in article 14, explicit references to the different collection mechanisms in member states, and lump sum payments to become exceptions.

Singapore Ministry of Law has decided to change copyright law in order to boost the creative industry. Proposed changes will strengthen creators’ right to attribution to their work, even if the work is not in their ownership anymore. Moreover, the changes proposed are to include a default ownership of commissioned works. Also enforcement is more strict to prevent illegal streaming. Various criminal and civil sanctions can be imposed to anyone who enable copyright violations. Finally, there are wider exceptions for education, analysis, and data mining.  

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