Open Letter To Key EU Copyright Working Group Calls For 'Balanced Representation Of Views'

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Back in January, we wrote about the report from the Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, which made a number of bold but sensible proposals for reforming the EU's 2001 copyright directive. Not surprisingly, the lobbyists have been hard at work, and no less than 556 amendments to the report have been proposed (pdf), many of them clearly aiming to undermine some of Reda's ideas completely -- for example, those seeking to rein in DRM. One of the important players in the revision process is the European Parliament's Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright Reform, which describes itself as follows:

The aim of the Working Group is to reflect on IPR issues and especially to pave the way to the upcoming reform of the EU legal framework on copyright. The Working Group will meet once a month and will exchange views with the widest range of stakeholders and civil society. The result of the work would serve as a starting point for future legislative review in the field and would enable Members to present concrete and innovative proposals to the European Commission.
Of course, one of the problems with reform in this area is that rarely do lawmakers engage with "the widest range of stakeholders and civil society": instead, they tend to listen to what the copyright industries tell them, and act accordingly. Hoping to head off that risk this time, a group of industry and civil society groups has sent an open letter to the coordinator of the Working Group (pdf), Jean-Marie Cavada, calling for a more balanced representation of views. Here's the key section (found via Netzpolitik):
We would like to express our concern with regard to the lack of diversity of expert speakers and the corresponding representation of views. In the digital age, copyright impacts a great variety of stakeholders. Apart from established copyright industries and authors, it is of great relevance to citizens, consumers, cultural heritage institutions, libraries, researchers, universities and the Internet industries. It is also of fundamental importance to creators who are taking advantage of new, digital opportunities and who are not represented by traditional copyright industries.

In that context, we call on the WG to make sure that these views are appropriately represented in the upcoming meetings. Making copyright rules future-proof requires a holistic approach. This can only be achieved if the full spectrum of stakeholders is adequately represented and given a chance to speak in front of Members of Parliament who will ultimately be tasked with passing new copyright legislation.
That pre-emptive call is a shrewd move: it makes the Working Group's coordinator aware that people are watching carefully who exactly he calls to give their views. Whether it succeeds in producing a more balanced representation is another matter.

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:07pm

    Aw, c'mon...

    Copyright industry profits are at risk. Paying those lobbyists to propose all those amendments is merely like buying a bit of extra fire insurance.

    While strongly insisting to the insurance agent that they need it by midnight, Friday.

    And that it cover fires with multiple ignition sources.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    charliebrown (profile), 24 Mar 2015 @ 10:49pm

    That Stupid Berne Convention

    How old is the stupid Berne Convention? I'm certain the world has moved on since then.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 2:28am

      Re: That Stupid Berne Convention

      1886. But it was amended several times. See here for a history of (mostly) the exceptions.
      http://www.keionline.org/BerneConventionExceptions
      And here's the thing:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention#External_links

      And actually, as far as I can see, there's nothing in the original text that stipulates a certain duration of copyright (apart from a 10 year right to translations).

      1896 added this:
      "Posthumous works shall be included among those to be protected."

      and this is from 1908:
      "The term of protection granted by the present
      Convention shall include the life of the author
      and fifty years after his death."

      So quite clearly, what we have here is a land grab by the copyright maximalists. And of course, as is usually the case, these laws and treaties were born relatively benign, and got more and more obnoxious with each amendment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    reponk, 25 Mar 2015 @ 12:33am

    Idiots

    The whole world somehow has idiots having being given the reins of the world and they have fucked it up totally. They are self indulgent, self congratulatory, self appointed, self self self. Fuck them all the cunts. Get the fuck out of here you fucking stupid idiotic fuckwits. Get Fucked

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2015 @ 9:39am

      Re: Idiots

      Idiots? I wouldn't call them idiots. They did a good job conning the public, it's the public for letting it happen that are a bunch of idiots.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 25 Mar 2015 @ 7:06am

    many of them clearly aiming to undermine some of Reda's ideas completely -- for example, those seeking to rein in DRM.

    I'd like to undermine those ideas too. "Rein in" is something you do to a horse you want to keep. This is a horse that needs to be taken out back of the barn and shot.

    DRM serves no legitimate purpose, and the only correct legal regime to deal with it is to criminalize it as the hacking tool it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 25 Mar 2015 @ 10:12am

    civil society are stakeholders

    "stakeholders and civil society"
    You know you're still fighting an uphill battle when that doesn't say "stakeholders including civil society". They apparently don't even recognise that civil society is not just *a* but *the key* stakeholder here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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