New EU Copyright Proposals are a direct threat to the digital economy

Proposals to go before the European Parliament in July will attack the open internet, says the CIPR.

The European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs voted to approve Articles 11 and 13 of the EU Directive for Copyright in the Digital Single Market, paving the way for major changes to European copyright law.

Article 11 would require online platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, to pay publishers a fee for allowing users to link to news organizations and quote text from their stories. Although this is intended to support news providing organisations, it will damage the rights of internet users.

Article 13 would require these platforms to enter into license agreements with right holders and to prevent users from sharing any content which is covered by copyright.

Commenting, Alastair McCapra said:

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive
These proposals contradict the EU directive on E-Commerce and are a challenge to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. They represent a direct threat to the digital economy, they could stifle start ups and yet their impact is very unlikely to benefit rights holders.

They would require mandatory licenses and content filters for online sharing platforms, of any size or scale. Licenses are not a practical option for a platform with a mass-user base and the technology to provide effective content filters has not yet been developed.

In any case, the vast majority of content uploaded to sharing platforms is user generated. Mandatory licenses and content filters are a disproportionate response to the problem and will not tackle the problem of the illegal sharing of right-protected content online.
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

Following a Committee vote to accept changes to European copyright law before the European Parliament vote in July, the CIPR are calling for members to write to write to their MEP’s asking them to vote against the bill .

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).