German Netzpolitiker call for rejection of Copyright Directive at plenary vote

29 June 2018

A coalition of net political associations have signed an open letter to MEPs ahead of the plenary vote on the Copyright Directive. Signatories, including members of the CDU, CSU, SPD and FDP (including digital minister Dorothee Bär, CSU) call on MEPs to reject the Directive, demonstrating concern about articles 11 and 13. In relation to the former, they cite the failure of the ancillary press publishers’ rights in Germany, noting that the cost of enforcement has outstripped any potential benefits this may have reaped. In relation to the latter, the letter states there are concerns regarding freedom of expression and information, claiming that “unwelcome expressions of opinion [will] be banished unrecognised from the platforms”. In combination, these provisions are considered “highly dangerous” and “highly problematic for the rule of law”.

Quotes surrounding the release of the letter also detail how the signatories, who were involved with the negotiations of the German coalition agreement, had previously agreed a position against the introduction of filtering mechanisms for the purposes of enforcing copyright law. Laura Kristine-Krause has also stated that these provisions are against the “clear position” of all parties who are represented in the German Bundestag. By acting at EU level in breach of the national coalition agreement, Saskia Esken (SPD) has noted that this should be grounds for dismissal of the relevant minster by the German Chancellor.