Carlo Perrone: the european directive on copyright law is a historic opportunity

on Tuesday, the Parliament in Strasbourg, meps will vote on a final vote on the directive on copyright that must create a neighbouring right for publishers in c

Carlo Perrone: the european directive on copyright law is a historic opportunity

on Tuesday, the Parliament in Strasbourg, meps will vote on a final vote on the directive on copyright that must create a neighbouring right for publishers in case of commercial use of their contents (article 11), and must require the platforms to filter content posted to comply with the copyright law (article 13). Carlo Perrone, president of the european Association of daily newspaper publishers (ENPA), explains the importance of this directive.

LE FIGARO. - What is your state of mind on the eve of the final vote?

Carlo PERRONE. - After three years of negotiations, we reached an acceptable compromise. There's a lot of emotion around this text, because what is deeply at stake, that is the soul of Europe, its creativity, its culture. This is a historic opportunity to change the power relationships that were unbalanced.

What is the purpose of this directive?

It aims to adopt the European rules in relation to the new digital world in which we are updated or we play. In the past, when copying a book or a newspaper, the cost of the necessary technology for the mass copy protected from abuse. To disseminate a newspaper, it was necessary to buy a printing press.

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today, the technology allows you to easily copy and transmit all kinds of content in a single click. The regulation must therefore evolve to protect authors and publishers, remuneration in case of commercial use of their production.

Why this directive is so important for the publishers?

today, the major american platforms to collect more than 80 % of the resources to online advertising, also thanks to the work of publishers and journalists. The information professional has a high cost and must be paid.

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It is for this reason that we ask that we be recognized as a copyright, a fair compensation. Only a free and independent press can oppose the fakes news. This directive also responds to a democratic requirement.

What are the ultimate threats to the vote tomorrow?

The lobbies of the platforms are very active. They are the ones who are pushing meps to table amendments in bad faith. If the latter were accepted, members would no longer have the time to re-start the process, which involves an agreement between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission. The amendments have a purpose: to sabotage the directive and, in fine, to question the cultural diversity and european democracy. Other uncertainties weighing on the vote are related to the presence or absence of meps. The campaign has started. The british meps could not be there at the time of the vote. Moreover, the meps, the socialists are divided.

That's going to change the directive to the internet?

For users, this will not change anything. There was the fake news that circulated during the campaign against the directive. We have been able to read that Wikipedia was concerned, which is not the case, that a "Web tax" was created through the directive or that the directive was going to censor the Internet. All of this is completely false. What are the infox to defeat the draft directive.

Who is ultimately concerned by the directive?

The agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council has excluded the start-up of the field of application of the directive. The idea is to protect the businesses of the new economy in Europe.

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Only the major platforms, those who have seniority, an audience and a revenue already substantial, are covered by the obligation of cooperation between the platforms and the creators of the works.

If the vote is positive, what are the next steps?

first, each State will have to transpose the directive within two years. Then, it will be necessary to begin negotiations with the american platforms. Our desire is to work with them. In the past, the editors have already worked a lot with Google and Facebook. Our future is bound. It is necessary that these negotiations should be virtuous for the whole world. We need to find the earliest possible solutions for the press located in this new framework a balance of economic sustainability. The directive provides also that it benefits the journalists that is mean to producers of content, they may benefit from this additional income.

Updated Date: 26 March 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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