In a statement published this morning, 169 academics working in a variety of fields from all over Europe give a final warning against the EU Commission’s ill-conceived plans for the introduction of a new intellectual property right in news.
Here are some extracts from the statement:
We, the undersigned 169 scholars working in the fields of intellectual property, internet law, human rights law and journalism studies at universities all over Europe write to oppose the proposed press publishers’ right.
Article 11 of the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, as it currently stands following negotiations in the EU Council and Parliament, is a bad piece of legislation. … The proposal would likely impede the free flow of information that is of vital importance to democracy. This is because it would create very broad rights of ownership in news and other information. … This proliferation of different rights for established players would make it more expensive for other people to use news content. … The proposed right would provide no protection against ‘fake news’. … There is no sound economic case for the introduction of such a right.
The academic community is virtually unanimous in its opposition to the European Commission’s proposal for a press publishers right. … it is important to understand that press publishers already have very significant rights in their publications. … [Moreover], Rapporteur Voss’s proposed amendments will make matters even worse. …
We call on all MEPs to oppose the Commission proposal, and with yet more determination, Mr Voss’s amendments. It is time to reject, once and for all, this misguided legislative reform.
My colleague, Giuseppe Mazziotti, and I are among the signatories. Read the full statement here (pdf) or here (html). It joins an open letter earlier this month from 56 organisations encouraging the deletion of Article 11.