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The European Parliament cannot allow itself to be hijacked by pirates

A vote against the Legal Affairs Committee’s report would be a slap in the face of all culture creators and artists.

The European Parliament decides on the 5th July on the tripartite negotiations mandate on Copyright in the digital single market. The basis for this is the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee’s report by rapporteur Axel Voss MEP (CDU), which was adopted by a significant majority. The vote was preceded by a constructive consultation process, which lasted several years and included many discussions between the stakeholders. The proposals were validated by the Legal Service of the European Union and the Council.

Misinformation are causing uncertainties
Since the adoption in front of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on 20th June, critics have been running a massive disinformation campaign. A differentiation appears no longer possible. Deliberate misleading misstatements are being purposely spread in order to cause uncertainty amongst MEPs and to influence the debate negatively in parliament. GEMA fiercely criticises the undue blurring of the debate with incorrect terms such as ‘upload filters’ and ‘censorship machines’.

GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker: “Very few of those who are criticising the report of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee have actually read it. The point is not to introduce upload filters. This word does not appear anywhere in the text. The focus of Art. 13 lies on licenses, which guarantee copyright holders a fair remuneration for their works. This means in practice, that platforms will be responsible for the use of the contents, which includes the obligation to license and remunerate. This is what it is about!”

The result brings also clear advantages for users: “More content will be made available legally through the proposals of the Legal Affairs Committee, including uploading and sharing”, says Dr. Heker. “With the reform of the Copyright, it won’t be so easy anymore for platforms to shirk from their responsibility to remunerate creators, by presenting themselves as passive infrastructure providers. That critics are threatening the justified concerns of artists and creators with the end of the Internet cannot be beaten in terms of tastelessness. The open letter of digital associations cnetz, D64, Loade.V. and CSUnet, which is visibly written based on incorrect guidelines – text of the Commission instead of the Legal Affairs Committee’s report -  is another notable side note.”

German courts already regularly impose verification and filter obligations on online platforms. A licensing requirement for specific platforms as intended by Art. 13 would ensure that such blocking would be less needed. “But who is interested, when instead one can fuel unjustified fears in order to then be celebrated as the saviour of the ‘free Internet’”, comments Dr. Heker. “We really hope that the European Parliament will not allow itself to be hijacked by pirates and that parliamentarians will give with their vote a clear vision for the future to the European culture and creative industry.”

Press contact:
Ursula Goebel, Communications Director
E-Mail: ugoebel@gema.de, Phone: +49 89 48003-426

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