Europe’s biggest news agencies have issued a joint statement ahead of the European Parliament’s debate on a new copyright law that would force internet giants to pay more for creative content used on their platforms.
CEOs of around 20 agencies including NMC members like France’s Agence France-Presse, Britain’s Press Association and Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur, have called on the European Parliament to update copyright law in the EU to help address a “grotesque imbalance”.
They also accuse Google and Facebook of “plundering” news for free and called on the internet giants to share more of their revenues with the media.
“The internet giants’ plundering of the news media’s content and of their advertising revenue poses a threat both to consumers and to democracy,” the statement said.
A first draft of the new Copyright law was rejected in July and the plans have been firmly opposed by US tech firms amid fears that the regulations could lead to higher costs for consumers.
“Can the titans of the internet compensate the media without asking people to pay for access to the internet, as they claim they would be forced to? The answer is clearly ‘yes’,” the agencies said in response.
“What we are really talking about is introducing a fair payment by those who have ripped off the news. For the sake of Europe’s free press and democratic values, EU lawmakers should press ahead with copyright reform,” they added.