More than 100 MEPs speak out against neighbouring right proposal


More than 100 MEPs speak out against neighbouring right proposal

JLGutierrez /

A proposed neighbouring right for press publishers in EU copyright law would restrict the public’s access to quality news online, according to a selection of Members of European Parliament (MEPs).

More than 100 MEPs voiced their concerns about the proposed introduction of the new neighbouring right in the directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market by signing a letter, on Thursday June 7, which was sent to the rapporteur for the directive, MEP Axel Voss.

Under the proposed neighbouring right, publishers could charge services like Google for displaying parts of a work in search results. 

The letter added: “While we support efforts to ensure a level playing field between online platforms and businesses through the enforcement of competition and consumer rules, we believe that the introduction of a new European neighbouring right will have a nocent and injurious effect on citizens’ access to quality news and information.”

The letter asked Voss to listen to consumer groups, small publishers and the business community that are “overwhelmingly opposed” to the introduction of the proposed legislation.

It also asked Voss to take into account the opinion of more than 200 European copyright legal and academic experts who argue that the neighbouring right “would likely impede the free flow of information that is of vital importance to democracy”.

There is also a campaign called Copyright for Creativity, which wants to prevent article 13. The article mandates that all content uploaded to the internet be monitored and potentially deleted by online platforms if a likeness to existing copyright-protected content is detected.

The campaign encourages members of the public to urge their MEPs to vote against the article 13. The campaign states that it is “crucial” that article 13 be deleted as it will “dramatically impact” how content is shared online.

“This proposal requires in practice almost all internet platforms to filter all content put online by users, basically excessively restricting our free speech before we can even use it and relying on algorithms (that will be programmed to ‘play safe’ and delete anything that creates a risk for the platform) to differentiate between what is allowed and what isn’t,” said the letter.

MEPs will take part in a plenary vote on the directive on June 20.

online, internet, copyright, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, Axel Voss, Copyright for Creativity

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