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European Parliament’s next chit chat about copyright reform postponed

By | Published on Tuesday 10 October 2017

European Commission

The much previously reported draft new European Copyright Directive continues to work its way through the law-making process in Brussels, though it looks like an important vote within the European Parliament will be pushed back to December.

As previously reported, a number of committees within the Parliament have been considering the new European copyright proposals, which were published by the European Commission just over a year ago, and which include measures on safe harbour, transparency and contract adjustment, among many other things.

The whole matter was due to go back before the legal committee, aka JURI, this month, but copyright matters have seemingly been taken off the agenda for that committee’s next meeting on 10 Oct, meaning the directive will now likely be discussed at a gathering in December instead. It could as yet get bumped in 2018. The ridiculously high number of proposed amendments is thought to be one of the reasons around the delay.

Legal site Lexology speculates that another reason for the delay might be that the governments of six member states have put a number of questions about the safe harbour article to the EU Council’s Legal Service. The questions seek clarity on the legality of article thirteen, which would place new obligations on safe harbour dwelling websites of the YouTube variety, and it’s not clear when the Legal Service plans to answer them.

For the wider music community, the safe harbour article is one of the most important elements of the proposed new directive, of course. And just last week an assortment of trade bodies representing the music community put their names to an open letter to the MEP leading on the directive, Axel Voss, urging him to ensure the final version of the safe harbour reforming article in the new directive is of use to copyright owners.