Artists and publishers won the second round against the giants of the digital. MEPs voted on Wednesday for highly sensitive reform of copyright law. Meeting in plenary in Strasbourg, MEPs have endorsed a new version of the text rejected on 5 July, which notably creates a new “neighbouring right” for publishers.
Told you all of this ‘directive on copyright in the digital single market’ which opposed several months supporters of a modernization of the rules to stop the plunder which they consider themselves victims and the Gafam (hear, Google Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft).
What is this directive on copyright in practice?
Two items are at the heart of the debates. The first-l ‘ article 11 – media. It creates a neighbouring right for publishers, allowing newspapers, magazines and news agencies like AFP, to be paid when their production by aggregators of information online. Basically, Google News, Apple News or Facebook will no longer for free use in the production of the online press to make their small showcase of the news.
The second-l ‘ article 13 – protecting cultural works, music and video, exploited by platforms such as YouTube. It requires large digital groups to monitor any violations of copyright or neighbouring rights in the content published by users of platforms such as YouTube. The Internet sites should implement automatic filters.
Why freedom activists to alarm?
If culture and media industry is a condition for the survival of the press and the maintenance of its independence, the opponents of this reform, including Internet freedom activists, do not at all share this view.
“We denounce the fact that the cultural industry, which has failed to adapt to the Internet for twenty years, said:”Let’s ask those who succeed, in the Gafam, we share the crumbs of their business,”explains Arthur Messaud, lawyer to the Quadrature of the. NET. These crumbs are revenues from targeted advertising. Targeted advertising, it is monitoring all-c’ what are we going to find on Facebook, YouTube, etc.-, and it is illegal since the entry into force of the RGPD. Cultural industry joins forces with the Gafam to make money on the operation of our freedoms”, he insists, before pointing to the case of the media which, according to him, would lose their freedom of expression.
“Once Le Monde or Le Figaro will have income which will depend, in part, on the income of Google and Facebook, how long can we continue to read articles critical of Google or Facebook?”, he worries.
What is she going to change in practice?
“Not much to the public or to freedom, puts Arthur Messaud, lawyer to the squaring of the Net. It will especially affect giant platforms that censor a lot because they already have contracts with the cultural industry. “For the press, it’s the same, Google will pay a pittance to the newspapers, the user won’t notice. For him, this directive reveals how the public debate can not think Internet without the Gafam.
Meanwhile, EDiMA, the association of platforms (Google, Facebook, Amazon…), considers that the sites will block all questionable content, such as parodies or remixes, to take no chances. Automatic filtering could “paralyze innovation” and “undermine the freedom of expression of millions of citizens and European businesses.”
It’s grotesque, indignant Sacem. “The authors, creators or journalists have always been at the forefront of the fight for freedoms. Make them the trial of intention to erect censor is therefore (…) insulting especially when it comes from groups who are hacking campaigns and spams which geographic, easy to determine, comes partly from California,”retorted. Jean-Noël Tronc, Director general – manager of the SACEM in the columns of The Obs.
Who are the winners?
At the end of the vote, Emmanuel Macron, supporter of reform welcomed on Twitter. “The copyright protects, it’s our freedom, our free information, our cultural creation that are recognized. I am proud that the France was at the forefront of this fight.
But for the squaring of the Net, Google comes out winner. “Make him dependent on press, is to his advantage,” says Arthur Messaud which advocates of deconstruct these structures and move towards the decentralized Internet. Two definitions of freedom clearly clash.