IP and information technology experts call for rejection of draft Directive

21 March

Two prominent interviews with professors of intellectual property and information law have called for the rejection of the draft Copyright Directive.

On 16 March, Prof. Reto Hilty (Max Planck Institute Director) spoke in an interview with Intellectual Property Watch, where he concluded that “a rejection of the current draft [of the Copyright Directive] would provide a new chance… to modernise copyright to make it fit for the EU digital single market”. Discussing both Articles 11 and 13, he cautioned that the politicisation of the Directive has resulted in this satisfying the needs of only a few members of the copyright industry (rather than its original purpose). Of Article 11, Prof. Hilty finds that this will disproportionately impact smaller news providers, with the paradoxical effect of ensuring Google’s dominant market position. Of Article 13, he suggests that it is doubtful that there is any workable solution to prevent violations of freedom of expression should this be implemented.

In a later interview on 21 March, Prof. Martin Kretschmer (CREATe Director, University of Glasgow) spoke with iRights info (available in German and English), also raising similar concerns regarding the draft Directive. He suggests that a better alternative to the “troublesome Article 13” would instead be to pursue online platforms via tax law and competition law for due recompense. Concluding, Prof. Kretschmer highlighted the fact that the entire Directive (including but not limited to the controversial Articles 11 and 13) “is methodologically flawed”, as it is so dependent on licensing as an organisational principle. This issue was also raised in a CREATe blog exploring lesser-known provisions of the Directive.