Striking the right balance for creators and culture
This proposal is a once in a generation opportunity to strike the right balance between the interest of users, our cultural and creative ecosystem and the platforms giving access to creative works. If the work on the draft Copyright Directive is not carefully considered, it could lead to devastating consequences for Europe’s culture and creative industries as well as its consumers.
Value gap: We believe in the value of creativity, and we expect that platforms play fair too. Closing the “value gap” by clarifying that those who distribute or intervene in the distribution of creative works are active and responsible for obtaining copyright licenses or taking down unlicensed content, at the rightholders discretion, is an important objective.
We welcome the European Commission’s bid to address this concern and urge the European Parliament to maintain the right balance. The marketplace for copyrighted works needs to function in a fairer and more transparent manner.
Exception for the purpose of illustration for teaching: We support exceptions for the purpose of illustration for teaching – these are already found in existing EU copyright law. But as the proposed new exception becomes mandatory, it is essential that existing licensing solutions prevail over the exception.
In addition, it is absolutely crucial to limit the use of the works concerned to “short extracts” and to exclude from its scope works that were designed for educational purposes.
User-Generated Content: The introduction of a User-Generated Content (UGC) exception invalidates the value gap provisions. After completing the preparatory work for the Copyright Directive, the European Commission decided not to propose any additional exceptions. Specifically on User-Generated Content (UGC), the Commission did not identify a market failure to justify an exception. Licensing solutions already enable UGC to be made available on platforms and users’ own websites/blogs. This form of licensing has become an important revenue source for certain sectors. For example, UGC revenues account on average for around 80% of independent music companies’ revenues from YouTube. The only beneficiaries from the UGC exception would be large user-uploaded content platforms. This would run counter to the EU’s effort to close the “value gap”.
Text and data mining: Users from research organisations should be required to delete the reproduction of works once text and data mining have occurred. The Commission’s proposal does not go far enough to assure this result.
The public interest research organisations should provide information to right holders on how they store and secure the relevant copies. We believe that once mining has been performed, it should be a legal requirement that the relevant copy is deleted.