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Lobbying battle continues over copyright directive

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During the vote on the Copyright Directive, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 12 September. Vincent Kessler / REUTERS

After the vote, lobbying continues … The adoption by the European Parliament of the Copyright Directive on 12 September did not put an end to the influence campaigns of the industries concerned, quite the contrary. Indeed, the text has entered a new phase, the “Trilogue” – a “three-way dialogue” – supposed to bring out a compromise text between the Parliament, the Commission and the Council of the European Union, which represents the Member States. Their last meeting was held on Monday, December 3; the next is scheduled for the 13th. ” It's the last straight line “, summarizes Fabrice Fries, the CEO of Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Read also EU directive on copyright in the digital era is adopted

The tension is stronger than ever. “The GAFA lobbying – the big digital platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon … – is excessive, but that led by the creative industries is also sometimes”, notes Pascal Rogard, director general of the Society of Authors and Dramatic Composers (SACD) and great accustomed battles for the defense of the French cultural exception and the financing of creation.

Last fix: December 4, an alliance of many rights holders representing television, cinema and music in France denounced “The massive and unprecedented disinformation campaign” conducted ” since several weeks ” by Google and YouTube.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Brussels, the intense lobbies war around the “copyright” directive

Since the end of October, Google's video platform has been calling its “YouTubers” to speak online against Article 13, which it says may well have “Perverse effects” : the «Educational videos, fan videos, parodies» would be particularly threatened by the strengthening of the responsibility of the platforms on the contents violating the copyright. Amazon has just sent a message to users of Twitch, its video game platform. Tightened by the European Parliament, Article 13 encourages the major digital players to enter into licensing agreements with rights holders. They see it “A rebalancing of value sharing”.

“Incarnate the debate more, too technical”

“It was a political mistake on the part of YouTube to mobilize Internet users as well”, considers that Mr Rogard, even if “SACD has already signed a compensation agreement with YouTube and not Facebook.” The authors' representative did not sign the last release of the rights holders, accused of focusing too much on Article 13, without defending ” in block ” Article 11, which creates a neighboring right for the use of press content, and Article 14, which generalises in Europe the principle of “Proportional remuneration” authors.

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