Re:Create Recap – March 28, 2019

Article 13 Will Hurt Creators, Consumers & Startups. On March 26, the European Parliament gave final approval of the controversial Copyright Directive, which includes provisions to mandate upload filtering on sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, YouTube and more. The Verge and other outlets noted the approval came despite widespread European opposition to Article 13, including 100,000 protesters and a petition with 5 million signatures to #SaveYourInternet. Engine wrote that the directive “will curtail innovation across the European Union and beyond by creating unreasonable obligations for any platform that hosts third-party content.”

Re:Create Statement On EU Copyright Directive. “The European Parliament’s approval of the controversial Copyright Directive will fundamentally change how millions of global consumers share, create, innovate and earn online. Its negative impact will harm creators, artists and businesses here in the U.S. who represent an increasingly important sector of our economy,” said Executive Director Josh Lamel in a statement. “The U.S. can learn important lessons from the EU’s copyright actions, which is why now is a time to proceed with caution. Policymakers should not take steps that would upset America’s balanced framework and safe harbor provisions that fuel positive economic and creative benefits nationwide.”

LA Times Ed Board Weighs In On Safe Harbors. As the EU moves toward mandatory content filtering, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board wrote in support of the existing American balanced copyright framework as a model that enables innovation and creativity without infringing on rightsholders’ original work. While major tech players may be able to weather the increased costs and risks of infringement liability, the futures of smaller platforms are unclear: “The U.S. model has allowed companies and creators to innovate without having to seek permission from copyright holders, as long as they do not infringe. The new European Union directive threatens that spirit, to its members’ detriment.”

EFF: What’s Next For EU? EFF’s Danny O’Brien explored the different legislative and judicial paths for European countries in light of the “disastrous” passage of Articles 11 and 13. Countries have until 2021 to implement the directive, resulting in likely “drawn-out” and “chaotic” scenarios. “The battle will have to continue…with millions of everyday users uniting online and on the streets to demand their right to be free of censorship, and free to communicate without algorithmic censors or arbitrary licensing requirements,” urged O’Brien. “And outside Europe, friends of the Internet will have to brace themselves to push back against copyright maximalists attempting to export this terrible Directive to the rest of the world.”

EU Lawmakers Robbed Of Chance To Reject Controversial Copyright Amendments. Several EU lawmakers said there was an error when deciding how the vote on the Copyright Directive should proceed. As a result, voting on individual amendments was rejected which “robbed” members of an opportunity to vote against Articles 11 and 13, Politico reported.  When lawmakers corrected their votes for the record, it revealed that the majority of members actually supported voting on individual amendments. Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the D66 party, tweeted about the failed opportunity: “A very inconvenient truth about the #copyright vote: after corrections of votes (allowed for the record but without changing the outcome of the vote) there would have been a majority for voting for or against 11&13. History is a dime on its side.”

Karyn A. Temple Appointed Register Of Copyrights. On March 27, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced Karyn A. Temple has been appointed Register of Copyrights after serving in the position on an acting basis for two years. In an interview with Billboard before the announcement, Temple stated: “Being here permanently, I can share my vision for the Office for the future and begin thinking more long term.” The article also previewed her plans to release a strategic plan that will lay out the Copyright Office’s priorities for the next five years.

U.S. Copyright Office Holding Section 512 Roundtable On April 8. The U.S. Copyright Office will hold a public roundtable for its study on section 512 on April 8 at the Library of Congress’s Madison Building in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned for more from the Re:Create Coalition as stakeholders prepare to participate in strong support for the current DMCA safe harbor provisions that enable online platforms that support creativity and economic growth.