EU copyright regulations: What is coming down the road?

14 Aug 2018

European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France. Image: vlastas/Shutterstock

EU copyright proposals have run into trouble, but what will follow the summer controversy?

In a few weeks, EU lawmakers are set to revisit the controversial digital copyright proposals that caused consternation in early summer.

In June, MEPs initially voted to approve the new legislation, but pushback from the general public saw them decide to reopen the debate in September of this year.

Article 13 (or upload filtering) was protested by many due to the changes it could spell for digital content creators and user-generated content, while Article 11 (the link tax) was criticised for its vagueness and potential for abuse by political administrations. Internet pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee were critical of Article 13 in particular.

EU copyright regulations are a contentious issue

The events have polarised many, from musicians who say the new rules will create a fairer marketplace, to online creators who fear a stifled internet could be on the cards. spoke to Christiane Stuetzle of Morrison & Foerster about what might happen next.

An expert lawyer in areas such as intellectual property, entertainment, media and corporate law, Stuetzle described the initial proposals as “half-cooked”.

Christiane Stuetzle headshot. Photograph.

Christiane Stuetzle. Image: Ripp Media

Article 13 needs work

Article 13 is a particularly sticky element of the legislation, according to Stuetzle. “I think there are so many business models that it is hard to define under one article and to which models it applies to.”

While she said it is important that originators of content are looked after, she noted that an examination of the various business models would be useful in creating a more practical solution. “A better outcome could be achieved.”

Stuetzle said that lobbying by both sides is likely to continue and intensify over the next while, but those hoping for the book on the issue to be closed this coming autumn may not be pleased. According to her, “we won’t have a result in September”.

The pivotal plenary session of the European Parliament will run from 10 to 13 September. The discussion of copyright in the EU and vote begins on 12 September, so it will not be long before we see whether more practical and usable systems have been created.

European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France. Image: vlastas/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects