New studies unanimously caution against the introduction of press publishers’ right

26 October 2018

Three new 2018 studies have unanimously cautioned against the introduction of a press publishers’ right, as proposed by article 11 of the Copyright Directive.

Most recently, Stavroula Karapapa (in ‘The press publishers’ right in the European Union: an overreaching proposal and the future of news online’ in Non-Conventional Copyright: Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection? Enrico Bonadio and Nicola Lucchi (eds)) finds that the proposal overreaches its purpose by a considerable margin, potentially resulting in the protection of information as opposed to original subject matter.

An earlier study by Ula Furgal (‘Ancillary right for press publishers: an alternative answer to the linking conundrum’) finds that due consideration has not been given to the right of communication to the public as a means to protect linking activities. As such, the introduction of a new ancillary right effectively creates a ‘double layer’ of protection (in combination with the right to communicate works to the public), potentially leading to fragmentation and uncertainty in the law.

Lastly, a publication by Taina Pihlajarinne and Juha Vesala (‘Proposed right of press publishers: a workable solution?’) finds that the proposed right over-reaches its proposed aims, and may only have limited significance in licensing negotiations. The study concludes that:

“… it is doubtful whether the proposal could address concerns about the weak bargaining position of news publishers… [and] introducing a new neighbouring right would further complicate and fragment the system of EU copyright law”