Slovenian Creatives Welcome EU’s Copyright Directive, Pirate Party & The Left Oppose It

By , 27 Mar 2019, 10:00 AM Politics
Slovenian Creatives Welcome EU’s Copyright Directive, Pirate Party & The Left Oppose It public domain

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STA, 26 March 2019 - Slovenian creatives have welcomed the European Parliament's yes vote for the copyright directive in the digital single market, whereas its fiercest opponents labelled it a "catastrophe" and a "dark day for the internet".


AIPA boss Gregor Štibernik told the STA on Tuesday that on behalf of audio-visual artists he could thank "all those who voted for the directive and a creative Europe".

He believes this means that authors will finally be able to get properly paid for their works which are used online.

He noted, however, much would depend on how the directive, which had been several years in the making, "will be implemented in national law".

EU members states have two years to transpose it, and the process in Slovenia will be coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.

Slovenian writers and publishers are happy as well, with Luka Novak from SAZOR stressing that "copyright law will now finally also apply to the internet".

He believes the directive will encourage competition in that small platforms, which are now practically non-existent in Slovenia, get a chance to promote independent content.

Novak also sees the directive as a means of putting Slovenian authors on a par with major global players in that they finally get paid for their work.

"Today is a big day for all copyright holders, authors, musicians, which will bring major change to the digital environment around Europe," said Dario Rot, speaking on behalf of musicians.

"This means that YouTube will be at least partly equalised with other musical portals which do business legally and pay adequate fees to all creatives and copyright holders. It will no longer have its own rules when for instance it does not pay authors in Slovenia."

The directive was also welcomed by the Slovenian Journalist Association (DNS), which said it would enable publishers and journalists to get a share from their works being used on the internet.

Nevertheless, Špela Stare of the DNS said members of the European Parliament had unfortunately not used an option to improve the text of the directive.

So when the directive is being implemented in Slovenia, journalist organisations intend to enter talks with publishers so that journalists get a fair share when media companies distribute copyright money.

By not opting to improve the directive with amendments, MEPs passed the controversial Articles 11 and 13 (respectively renumbered as 15 and 17 in the latest version), which the directive's critics believe will have far-reaching consequences.

The director of the Institute for Intellectual Property, Maja Bogataj Jančič, said that legal experts assume "it will bring many legal problems".

She nevertheless hopes "that Article 11 will bring journalists and those who post content on the net rewards and that Article 13 introduces a mechanism under which Google and similar platforms reward at least some authors."

She warned that Article 13 will result in too much content being eliminated from the internet, so she believes it is important for Slovenia to clearly transpose rules about exceptions, foremost to protect education-related content.

Pirate Party and Left oppose the move

A strong opponent of the directive, the non-parliamentary Pirate Party said the decision by MEPs to back the directive was a catastrophe.

The party believes it leads to stagnation and corporatisation of culture, fearing the internet as the biggest stimulator of development in history would be dropped.

"Article 13, which demands that everything big corporations believe violates copyright law be filtered and censored as a preventive measure, will change the internet as we know it," the party said about what is known as the upload filter.

The party also criticised the link tax introduced by Article 11 which lets publishers charge platforms when they display snippets of news stories, and announced it would keep fighting against the harmful provisions.

The opposition Left, which supported Saturday's anti-directive protest organised by the Pirate Party, said today "is a dark day for the internet".

As a result, ordinary internet users and small creatives will be worse off, and the internet will become even more controlled and monopolised.

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