EU Copyright Comes into Effect: eco Calls for a Sense of Proportion in Implementation

Today, the directive on copyright and related property rights in the digital single market comes into effect. Now, the EU Member States have 2 years’ time – until 7 June 2021 – to implement the controversial regulations into national law.

The Association of the Internet Industry is critical of the directive, taking the view that it will achieve exactly the opposite of that which has been repeatedly claimed to be its objective: “The copyright reform is a clear threat to small publishers, authors, and Internet users equally, and it harbors the risk of forever changing the Internet as we know it. Rather than the actual creator, in the end only the large platforms, collecting societies, and press publishers will benefit.”

“The German federal government expressly declared its opposition to upload filters in its coalition agreement, and rejected them as disproportionate. This was also reinforced by the declaration submitted in the course of the consultation in the Council. As a result, we will be observing very closely how the federal government now wants to implement this regulation – which has already been criticized by experts as being contrary to prevailing law – and we will actively accompany this process. Germany must not throw its own principles overboard in the national implementation,” says eco Chair of the Board Oliver J. Süme.

With the European Copyright Directive, there is a threat of a deep incursion into the freedom of expression of all Internet content. Article 13 (henceforth Art. 17) stipulates that all uploaded online content must be monitored and possibly deleted if any similarity is detected to existing copyright-protected content.

“The EU institutions, some of which have been newly elected and staffed, must not surrender to the mistakes that have been made. A European copyright that ignores the entire potential of the digital economy and systematically hinders the digitalization of society and the development of new innovative business models across Europe – merely to protect traditional industries and obsolete business models – in no way does justice to the realization of the European digital single market. The EU should take the opportunity and rectify the reform’s problems, in order to prevent the Internet from being filtered to death,” says Süme.

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