Copyright boost for news companies but Europe scores own goal

///Copyright boost for news companies but Europe scores own goal

Copyright boost for news companies but Europe scores own goal

Europe’s copyright rules were overhauled today in favour of content creators  – but the European Parliament failed to recognise the danger of granting sport organisations new rights too.

The text was adopted by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions, but the amendment regarding ‘sport ip’ was passed by only one vote.

At the same time that MEPs voted in so-called neighbouring rights for publishers and news agencies (to ensure the viability of the news eco-system and democracy), they waved through a proposal for ‘sport intellectual property rights’. The News Media Coalition believes that – if it goes through the next political processes – news-gathering and news content freedoms will be undermined by more controls from the sports movement.

The bundle of positive changes (and the ‘sport ip’ issue) now moves to the three-way negotiations between senior European parliamentarians, Council of the European Union and the European Commission, which is against ‘sport ip’.

On the plus side, the proposals for publisher and news agency rights, mean

  • Tech giants to share revenue with artists and journalists
  • Fair pay for artists and journalists while encouraging start-ups
  • Protecting freedom of expression
  • Wikipedia and open source software platforms will not be affected
  • Stronger negotiating rights for authors and performers

Andrew Moger, Executive Director, of the News Media Coalition which campaigns for news content and news business freedoms in relation to major news events, said: ‘At long last, the tide is now turning away from those, such as technology businesses, that undervalue the personal and news company investment in original content, especially in news situations of high interest. If European copyright reform results in a fairer return to the creative processes – and a recognition of the honest and genuine hard work behind every news photo, story and piece of news video journalism – then today would have been a great day for democracy, which is sustained by independent news-gathering and viable news businesses.’

He added: ‘Conversely, from the perspective of the News Media Coalition, the European Parliament’s support for news statutory intellectual rights to the advantage of commercial sport is, as set out, an error which can and must be rectified in the next stage of the copyright process’.


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