Berlin 12.09.2018

eco comments on Decision on EU Copyright Law: “The Internet will be Filtered to Death”

The EU Parliament voted again today on the amendment of copyright law. Until now, plans to reform copyright – including ancillary copyright for publishers and an upload-filter – had been rejected by the European Parliament. However, 438 parliamentarians today voted in favor of the committee report and a mandate for the trilogue negotiations with the Commission and the Council, while 226 parliamentarians voted against it and 39 abstained.

Chair of the Board at eco – Association of the Internet Industry, Oliver Süme, has expressed his disappointment at the result of the vote:

“We have fought for a modern copyright law that does justice to the digital age. But with today’s decision, the EU Parliament has well and truly kicked copyright back into the stone age. At the same time, it is ignoring the entire potential of the digital economy, and is inhibiting the digitalization of society and the development of new innovative business models throughout Europe – simply to protect traditional industries and outdated business models. This decision will lead to the Internet being filtered to death.”

This is despite the fact that the demands of users and the market have long-since moved on. “Copyright is a highly valuable asset, but it must not become a pretext for slowing down digital innovation. Instead, Internet-based forms of use must be simplified and, above all, copyright regulations must be practicable for providers of new business models. This is the only way to create a healthy environment for innovative European companies.”

With this copyright reform, in line with the proposals of the rapporteur Axel Voss, a massive encroachment into the basic technical structure of the Internet and into fundamental rights now looms – which will clearly result in a paradigm shift and will lead to prior vetting of content and censorship infrastructures.

“The Internet will be changed fundamentally. There is now the threat of a radical violation of the fundamental principles of a state ruled by law, if in future companies and not courts will be responsible for deciding what we are allowed to see, hear, and read on the Internet. Moreover, a European ancillary copyright law would only delay the necessary digitalization of the publishing and news industry, would impede innovation, and would become a competitive disadvantage for Europe as an investment location. Already in Germany and Spain, this has afforded no advantages for publishers,” says Süme.

eco comments on Decision on EU Copyright Law: “The Internet will be Filtered to Death”
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