The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee adopted on June 16 in a majority vote an own initiative report on authors’ rights that includes provisions to strengthen authors’ contractual position while opening up some exceptions.
The controversial report initiated by the European Greens MEP Reda is a response to current work led by the European Commission to reform copyright/authors’ rights legislation (on the implementation of the “Infosoc directive” 2001/29) in the EU .
It has led to heated debates inside the European Parliament and political groups over the possibility to relax current legislation to enable users to access protected works more extensively in the EU.
The newly adopted text calls for improvements of the contractual position of authors and their remuneration while calling for new exceptions including data mining, digitisation of archives and e-lending. A controversial amendment requesting authorisation for taking pictures for commercial uses of public buildings was passed, while the introduction of wider exceptions for quotations was rejected as well as attempts to dilute the private copying exception and to prevent geoblocking (access restrictions to works based outside a user's geographical location).
In a press conference, MEP Reda explained that reaching the majority of votes came at a price and that includes some of her most radical proposals being rejected. However, she remains confident that “if the report is adopted by the European Parliament, the European Commission will have to be more ambitious in its plan for copyright reform”.
The vote on the report in plenary is set on July 9 in Strasbourg.
For more information contact the IFJ/EFJ +32 2 235 22 16