Techdirt: Together we're improving copyright!

Posted by Soledad Vega on Thu, 06/18/2015 - 16:56

This battle is far from over! MEP Julia Reda's pro-user copyright report goes to a vote of the entire European Parliament on July 8/9, where we expect Old Media giants to again try to insert destructive amendments. Help us protect the gains we’ve made so far and push back against those powerful interests who want to restrict and censor our right to link online! Speak up at ‪#‎SaveTheLink‬

Article by Techdirt

On Wednesday, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted a copyright reform proposal based on the report that Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda released earlier this year. There were tons of amendments and some of the important ideas in the original report were taken out or watered down -- something that Reda readily admits. Former Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter, who had complained about Reda's report from the start, is vocally upset about the outcome, arguing that accomplishing a plan with only moderate ambitions is not what the Pirate Party should be supporting. 

That said, there are some real reforms in there, including dropping the proposal for ancillary copyrights, better known as a "snippet tax" or "Google News tax" that many are pushing for. Missing from the final result, however, was support for "freedom of panorama" -- an important concept allowing people to photograph things in public (like the Eiffel Tower). Also troubling was the inclusion of an amendment that says copyright holders need to give express permission for works to be performed in public spaces, which could create a huge mess. 

In short, it's copyright reform, but like most copyright reform lately, there's a jumble of concepts mixed in -- some good, some bad. When the US Congress finally gets around to releasing its plan for comprehensive copyright reform, it's likely to be something similar. A mixed bag of decent ideas and bad ideas, each designed to trade off on each other, to try to keep "both sides" happy -- or, more realistically, to placate both sides from being too angry about the stuff they consider bad.

- Read more at Techdirt