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 (and also including State Secreatry Dorothee Bar) 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 unrecognized from the platforms”. In combination, these provisions are considered “highly dangerous” and “highly problematic from 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 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 in breach of the coalition agreement at EU level, Saskia Esken (SPD) has noted that this should be grounds for dismissal of the relevant German Chancellor.