CREATe’s research into copyright is helping to inform the debate around copyright in the European Single Market Directive, which could change how we all use the internet. The upcoming European Parliament vote on the Copyright Directive could prevent internet users doing things we all take for granted, such as posting memes and parodies, and stifle freedom of expression online. For over a year, CREATe has been tracking progress of the Copyright Directive, gathering academic evidence and coordinating open letters from European Research Centres to MEPs and members of the IP working party of the Council of the European Union. The results of this work can be found on the resource page: https://www.create.ac.uk/eu-copyright-reform/. This independent resource, based on scientific evidence, gives full explanations of the contested Articles (Articles 3, 11 and 13) with context and summaries of evidence.
Following the adoption of a position of the Council of the European Union on 25th May 2018, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) narrowly voted in favour of the key provisions of the proposed Copyright Directive on 20th June. It also gave a mandate to Rapporteur MEP Axel Voss to start trialogue negotiations with the Council and Commission. A full plenary vote by the European Parliament will take place on 5th July, challenging the JURI vote. In light of this, CREATe published a new, strongly worded, academic statement on the 29th June to address directly some of the misinformation that is circulating in a heavily lobbied environment. This blog and associated tweet on the statement have now received 28,000 impressions - the tweet alone has had over 130 retweets.
The CREATe resource page was been used by the press in the UK and Europe. It was featured on the BBC website before the first vote on the 15th June, and included in the leading German news magazine Der Spiegel. On the key campaign page against the Directive, (https://www.saveyourinternet.eu/), the CREATe statement of 29th June is at the top of the list of additional reading, and the resource is first on the list of analyses and statements by academics.
CREATe academics Professor Martin Kretschmer and Dr Thomas Margoni contributed an article to The Conversation on Article 3, the text and data mining exception. Most recently, Dr Margoni’s article ‘Why the incoming EU copyright law will undermine the free internet’ was published on 3rd July in The Conversation. Professor Kretschmer was interviewed on the German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, to comment on the vote in European Parliament on 20th June. A Reddit AMA (Ask me Anything) on copyright included leading Copyright scholars and took place on 28th June.
It does not happen often that there is wide scientific consensus on a contested policy issue. This is such a case, and policy makers need to take note of the evidence.
~ Kerry Patterson (CREATe community manager)
Editorial note: Development of the resource has been supported by AHRC grant “Unlocking co-creative possibilities: CREATe follow-on engagement” (AH/P013341/1) and Martin Kretschmer’s Fernand Braudel fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence. CREATe members Peter Bennett, Thomas Margoni, Kerry Patterson, Sukhpreet Singh and Amy Thomas contributed to the production and dissemination of the resource.