[P2P-F] Fwd: [opennetcoalition] Fundamental Cultural Rights Must be at the Heart of Copyright Reform in Europe!

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Tue Dec 24 05:19:52 CET 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: La Quadrature du Net <jz at laquadrature.net>
Date: Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Subject: [opennetcoalition] Fundamental Cultural Rights Must be at the
Heart of Copyright Reform in Europe!
To: opennetcoalition at laquadrature.net


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link:

Fundamental Cultural Rights Must be at the Heart of Copyright Reform in

*** Paris, 23 December 2013 — For the third time in as many years the
European Commission has launched a public consultation [1] on copyright in
the European internal market. Despite the unambiguous signal sent by civil
society and Members of the European Parliament through the rejection of the
ACTA treaty in 2012, the Commission keeps ignoring the primary need to
place the fundamental cultural rights of individuals at the heart of
copyright reform. La Quadrature du Net calls on all citizens and
organisations to respond to this public consultation in order to scrutinise
the current approach and to push proposals that are in favour of a positive
reform of copyright adapting it to the digital environment. ***

Divorced from expectations of their citizens, the main objective of the
European Commission in this consultation remains “whether further measures
[…] need to be taken at EU level […] to increase the cross-border
availability of content services in the Single Market, while ensuring an
adequate level of protection for right holders”. Furthermore, the
Commission places this consultation within the same process as Licences for
Europe which was marked by a failure [2] last November. This public
consultation continues to propose simple contractual solutions to address
the digital environment whereas a revision of the basic principles of
copyright law enshrined in the 2001/29 directive is today more than ever in

** Fundamental cultural rights ignored **

The European Commission addresses a large number of questions in this
public consultation, but a most important question is swept under the
carpet: The recognition of each individual’s cultural rights. For example,
no questions are raised over the use of DRMs (Digital Rights Management).
These "digital handcuffs" have, since their establishment in 2001,
restricted the rights of individuals over cultural content acquired by them.

More importantly, the European Commission fails to address the question of
non-commercial online sharing of copyrighted material between individuals
even though this represents one of the most pressing issues that any
process to adapt copyright to the digital environment must faced with today.

These questions are at the heart of the programme of positive copyright
reform [3] proposed by La Quadrature du Net. The last section of the public
consultation entitled “Other issues”, allows answers to be submitted on
questions that should have been the Commission's main preoccupation!

** Some dangerous directions that need to be countered **

Moreover, several aspects of the public consultation could seriously
undermine values allowing the functionme the principles and values on which
the Internet is built. An example can be found in the Commission’s
questions: “Should the provision of a hyperlink leading to a work or other
subject matter protected under copyright […] be subject to the
authorisation of the rightholder?” and “Should the viewing of a web-page
where this implies the temporary reproduction of a work or other subject
matter protected under copyright on the screen and in the cache memory of
the user’s computer […] be subject to the authorisation of the
rightholder?”. Limiting the freedom to link to or to consult a website –
already attacked in Germany through the "link tax" or "Google tax" earlier
this year and in the United Kingdom [4] – would represent a major

But the most dangerous paragraphs in the public consultation are to be
found in section IV, “Respect for rights”. The Commission asks whether “the
current legal framework [is] clear enough to allow for sufficient
involvement of intermediaries (such as Internet service providers,
advertising brokers, payment service providers, domain name registrars,
etc.) in inhibiting online copyright infringements with a commercial
purpose” and “If not, what measures would be useful to foster the
cooperation of intermediaries?". The desire to involve and make responsible
technical intermediaries, which was also at the heart of SOPA and ACTA, can
be clearly seen here.

On all these points, La Quadrature calls on citizens and citizen
organisations to express their disagreement with these regressive and
repressive measures!

** Advocating for positive reform **

However, the Commission also considers several issues that represent
opportunities for a positive reform of copyright in Europe. The Commission
asks whether the term of protection should be reduced and considers the
idea of a system of registration. Both measures would reinforce the public
domain in Europe. Moreover, the Commission asks whether limitations and
exceptions to copyright should be further harmonised across countries,
especially for the benefit of educational uses, research, of cultural
institutions, persons with disabilities, and for innovation such as data
mining or user-generated content (remix, mashup).

On all these points, it is essential that civil society, individuals and
public and private institutions demand a greater flexibility in the
European legislative framework.

The response by La Quadature du Net will be based on the Elements for the
reform of copyright and related cultural policies [3]. It is unlikely that
the current Commission will be able to start the reform process effectively
due to approaching elections. It is however important that the new
Commission receives from day one a strong signal in favour of a positive
reform of the 2001 directive and this consultation provides the opportunity
to provide it!

“The European Union can no longer prevent genuine copyright reform that
takes into account the fundamental cultural rights of individuals while
putting an end to the repressive spiral of the last few years”, concludes
Philippe Aigrain, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net.

”Without an important mobilisation by civil society this process set in
motion by the Commission may lead to a regression. But all across Europe
citizen organisations are suggesting positive proposals and they must now
make their voices heard”, concludes Lionel Maurel, cofounder of the
association La Quadrature du Net.

* References *





** About La Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the
digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations:

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


Opennetcoalition mailing list
Opennetcoalition at laquadrature.net

P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net

http://twitter.com/mbauwens; http://www.facebook.com/mbauwens

#82 on the (En)Rich list: http://enrichlist.org/the-complete-list/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://lists.ourproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/private/p2p-foundation/attachments/20131224/3977979c/attachment.htm 

More information about the P2P-Foundation mailing list