Study published investigating the utility of the proposed press publishers’ right

15 September 2017

A new study commissioned by the European Parliament has been published on “Strengthening the Position of Press Publishers and Authors and Performers in the Copyright Directive” by authors Lionel Bently, Martin Kretschmer, Tobias Dubenbostel, Maria del Carmen, and Alfred Raudauer (full study available here). The study aims to investigate Article 11 (“press publisher’s right”) and Articles 14-16 (contractual adjustment provisions) of the proposed Copyright Directive. Journalists from German and Spanish newspapers were interviewed, as well as a legal review of laws across seven member states in relation to contractual bargaining positions of authors. The study reveals “nearly universal criticism” of the proposed new press publisher’s right, ultimately suggesting that the new right be abandoned in its entirety. The paper’s findings in relation to the contractual provisions of the proposed Directive are more positive, suggesting that, whilst there is some merits in the initial proposals, most Member States already provide additional bolsters for the relatively weak bargaining position of the author.