Amended Julia Reda report as a compromise

On 16 June 2015, the legal affairs committee of the European Parliament adopted Pirate MEP Julia Reda’s report on copyright reform with 23 votes in favour and 2 against. The report was largely amended with 550 amendments reviewed in 50 minutes.

The report will be voted in the European Parliament in July 2015. The report of Julia Reda is an Own Initiative report. It may be politically relevant but is legally non binding.

  • The amended report ackowledges the necessity to reform the EU copyright framework.

“... notes that cross-border access to the diversity of uses that technological progress offers to consumers may require evidence- based improvements to the current legal framework to further develop the legal offer of diversified cultural and creative content on-line, to allow access to European cultural diversity ...”

  • The amended version of the Reda report is a compromise version.

Albeit this acknowledgement, most of Reda’s proposals have been either narrowed (exceptions for education and research, text and data mining, statutory licensing – only granted if no harm to rightholders – etc.), abandonned (exception for quotation, introduction of Fair Use concept, definition of hyperlinking as not being a “communication to the public” …), or put to more evidence gathering studies (impact assessment of libraries digitizing content, study on the re-use of content …)

  • Three issues are most relevant to the Picture Industry:

- Contractual law: Review of the imbalance in contractual relations between rightholders/ creators and their intermediaries
– The article on Hyperlinking (as not constituting a “communication to the public” i.e. not subject to any kind of authorization) has been deleted.
Last but not least:
Freedom of Panorama Instead of extending the freedom of panorama within the EU, the proposed new article46 (former 16.) now extends the obligation of an authorization for the publication of commercial pictures of works of arts and building on public places. Abolition instead of extension.

This is a striking development within this report. The amended version reads this way:
46. Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them;

If adopted, the abolition of the freedom of panorama will be a mixed pleasure for photographers and picture libraries as a potential additional burden on their business. Intense lobbying against the abolition of the right of panorama is to be expected.

All documents, including the draft report and amendments, can be found here.

Amended report Reda report_18.06.2015