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Copyright Directive: Push for automated filters from France, Portugal and Spain
26.10.17
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France, Portugal and Spain have waded into the debate on the notorious Article 13 of the EU's proposed Copyright Directive with a proposal that would oblige online content-sharing platforms to introduce mandatory automated filtering of uploads, as originally proposed by the Commission but recently questioned by a number of Member States.

See: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on (copyright in the Digital Single Market - Proposed amendments to recitals 37, 38, 39 and Article 13 (WK 10644/2017 INIT, 2 October 2017, pdf)

The proposal from the three states proposes a number of amendments to the proposed Copyright Directive that would, amongst other things, stop certain content-sharing platforms benefiting from the exclusion for legal liability for uploaded material that is available under Article 14 of the Directive on e-commerce (2001/31/EC).

The proposed text for Article 13 submitted by the three countries contains numerous caveats but in essence reinforces one of the most problematic elements of the Commission's original proposal, summarised in a recent joint letter signed by 27 civil society organisations from across Europe:

"the proposed upload filter obligation will build a system where citizens will face Internet platforms blocking the upload of their content, even if it is a perfectly legal use of copyrighted content."

It also suggests introducing a "duty of care" requirement for "information society service providers", obliging them to "take appropriate and proportionate measures, with regard to their audience and revenues, to ensure protection of works or other subject-matter," even if they "are eligible for the liability exemption set out in Article 14 of the [Directive on e-commerce]."

The proposal was subsequently added to the agenda of the 18 October meeting of the Council's Working Party on Intellectual Copyright by the current Estonian President of the Council.

See: Presidency Flash - Intellectual Property (Copyright) WP on 17/18 October 2017 (WK 11269/2017 INIT, 12 October 2017, pdf) and: Notice of meeting and provisional agenda: Working Party on Intellectual Property (Copyright) (CM 4480/17, 10 October 2017, pdf)

The working party, like so many others that deal with decision-making in the Council, publishes its meeting agendas but produces no public minutes ("outcomes").

Background (Statewatch News)

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