Article 11 and 13 approved by European Parliament


The directive.

The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive’s text.

The most important parts of this are Articles 11 and 13. Article 11 is intended to give publishers and papers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, allowing them to demand paid licenses. Article 13 requires certain platforms like YouTube and Facebook stop users sharing unlicensed copyrighted material.

Let’s have a closer look.

Article 11,

This would grant news outlets a claim to copyright over the sharing of their content online.

I am not a lawyer (I would love to hear from those that are) but isn’t this basically the same law we’ve always had with an added emphasis on ‘not exploiting your position to the detriment of others’.

You must ask permission from twitter users before putting their pictures in an article for instance.

The parliament has agreed to add a specific exemption for ‘hyperlinks’ (mainly due to lobbying), why I still fail to see described as a ‘link tax’. And it will only have impact on the sites that are using other sites content as basis for revenue, which I fail to see is a legal business model. A typical example is clickbait sites (and clickbait sites is equal to spam in my book).

So, the real questions we should ask: Is article 11 and the problem it claims to address a problem that does not exist?

Or is it the last stand for the “traditional” printed press:

As Tworek & Buschow (2016) suggest, the rhetoric of ‘theft’ advanced by traditional media in support of a claim for new intellectual property rights is a just strategy to ward off threats from new media. It sounds like the music labels at the turn of the century bitching about Napster.

Prof. Mireille van Eechoud from the University of Amsterdam seems to agree (granted I have only read the executive summary) see the full paper in references.

In any case – NIM and CREATIVES have a solution that are already implemented in our NewsRoom (see earlier article:

Article 13 is another matter…

In passing the legislation, parliament essentially is reversing an earlier ruling by the EU court in Luxembourg. In that decision, the court argued that sites should not be compelled to install filters to check for privacy.

And I agree – before you start shouting at me, let me explain:

The EU court in Luxembourg ruled:

That Web sites cannot be forced to install general filters on their systems intended to block the piracy of music, video, and other content, finding such filters do not sufficiently protect users’ freedom to send and receive information, nor protect user data.

We (NIM) believe the solution lies in registration of the copyrighted content before it is made available to any online DSP (Digital Service Providers) and the “filter” is a simple check if it’s registered or not.

As a creator of content, you have a clear choice:
  1. Register and get compensated for your work.
  2. Do not register and let the world listen, read or watch for free.

We believe that a regulated and transparent registration process for copyrights and intellectual property rights is the basis for a fairer and more transparent payment of royalties for all content and across all media, especially in the digital environment of the Internet.

Whether the creator wants to receive compensation or not is up to her/him.

UGC (User Generated Content)

UGC is any form of content, images, videos, text and audio, that have been posted by users of online platforms such as social media and wikis.

Without UGC the business model of giants like YouTube and Facebook would not exist – at least not as giants…

And here lies the “conflict” – a wedding video is much better with music. A funny video snippet is much funnier with the right music. A serious video message is more serious with doomsday music and so on…

So far, the major online sites that thrives on UGC has been exploiting the ‘safe harbour’ loopholes in copyright law, and only paid the bare minimum in royalties. Now, sites like YouTube could be forced to pay the music industry billions. Despite having nearly 1.4 billion users uploading and watching user-generated content – including music videos – pay-outs are notoriously low.  According to the latest calculations, artists and other content creators only receive $0.0007 per video play.

Check out the different DSP and their pay-out here (updated for 2018):

The solution – MaaS (Music as a Service)

At New Internet Media we have created a service we call MaaS (Music as a Service), You register once (via a public regulated copyright exchange). All DSP’s (Digital Service Providers) must clear the licensing before submitting the audio/video containing copyrighted material to the end-user. Royalties are paid immediately and directly to the copyright owners according to registered shares.

Consider following scenario: A wedding video is shot, and the happy couple likes to put music to the video. They select one from the MaaS before uploading it to YouTube and each time someone watch the wedding video, royalties are paid.

This works for all parties – as long as the content is registered, the creator(s) will get their royalties. The DSP has their “infringement filter” and the happy couple has their wedding video with music.

A parting comment:

We should remember that this is a directive. It’s open to interpretation, it’s open to challenge in the courts, and most importantly the final draft isn’t even complete. Even when it’s complete, it still needs to be put down in law in the respective countries, which is when all the detail will be filled out.

If there ARE concerns, then what changes/ explicit exemptions should be made before the final draught in order to make this legislation acceptable?

I have attached the draft document “The New Internet Media Ecosystem” (have been waiting for the EU votes on copyright in the Digital Single Marked) which will be finalized asap and incorporated into the White Paper and business plan for the IPO/ETO.



Directive 2001/29/EC

The dates it should come in effect

If you’re interested in an academic analysis, Prof. Mireille van Eechoud from the University of Amsterdam has written an study:

Ruling by the EU court in Luxembourg about installing filters to check for privacy.

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