Licences for Europe: another insider's report from the UGC WG

EU copyright fans can't wait for the Final Plenary
of Licences for Europe
As fans of all things EU copyright will perfectly know, tomorrow will be the day when the final plenary meeting to conclude the Licences for Europe initiative takes place. 

Licences for Europe was launched following an Orientation Debate held at the end of 2012, as part of a two-pronged plan of the Commission to modernise EU copyright. 

Licences for Europe has been envisaged as a forum to which relevant stakeholders reunited in four working groups could contribute to deliver rapid progress through practical industry-led solutions in certain areas, including:
  •   Cross-border portability of services;
  •   User-generated content (UGC) and licensing for small-scale users of protected works;
  •   Facilitating the deposit and online accessibility of films in the EU;
  •   Promoting efficient text and data mining (TDM) for scientific purposes.

     Over the past few months the IPKat has reported on some "issues" emerged during the activities of the various working groups, in particular those on UGC (here) and TDM (here). 

Today, on her way back to England after attending an event on TDM in Brussels, this Kat could not help but wonder whether she should have bought that yummy-looking Belgian chocolate box what would happen tomorrow during the Final Plenary. While absorbed in such speculations, she received an email from a reader who also happens to have participated in the activities of the working group on UGC. Writing under the usual nome de plume of Robert Schumann, he/she provided both an interesting update on the results achieved by this working group and some crystal-ball-gazing as to what may happen tomorrow.

Here's what 'Robert' writes: 

“So here is a little update on the User-Generated Content working group of the Licenses for Europe stakeholder dialogue ahead of tomorrow’s final plenary. As I had predicted earlier, the group failed to produce any meaningful outcome at all. As a result there will be no conclusions from the Commission tomorrow. Instead the Commission has decided to give the floor the participants of the working group to present what they consider to be the outcome. 

The associations of European Press Publishers has been so kind to circulate their conclusions in advance. The document provides a perfect illustration of the failure to achieve any meaningful agreement between stakeholders. In the end of the Licences for Europe process we have Press Publishers agreeing with Press Publishers on things that are dear to Press Publishers [that's how also Merpel likes to conduct all her discussions]. Here are the 4 points of their presentation:

1. As a result of a year-long multi stakeholder approach initiated by the European Commission, Press Publishers and Press Publishers have agreed on principles for User Generated Content.

Polly and Milly agree that they both
like strawberry ice cream,
although they might eventually
disagree on who should have the cherry
2. Press Publishers are happy to allow ordinary people to consume their content on many platforms and click on the share-and-like buttons provided by the Press Publishers. They also allow ordinary people to share links to their content on social media (this is in fact quite a progressive stance if one keeps in mind that that these are the same people who have brought the PRCA case to the CJEU [here]). Ordinary people must never do anything commercial with the valuable professional content that is made available by press publishers.

3. Press publishers are furthermore happy to take anything that is made by ordinary people and integrate it into their commercial offerings. They have even written up terms and conditions (at their own expenses!) that ensure Press Publishers have the right to make  commercial uses such things. 

4. Press Publishers stress the importance of promoting education about intellectual property rights (IPRs) because it is widely known that IPRs are important.”

Well, we'll see what happens tomorrow. Further updates to follow, so: stay tuned!
Licences for Europe: another insider's report from the UGC WG Licences for Europe: another insider's report from the UGC WG Reviewed by Eleonora Rosati on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. That's about right. We will have the right to post links to web content owned by publishers, who consent to such linking. Rings a Svensson kind of bell too.


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