Brussels was very much preoccupied with the proposed EU copyright reform in
November. The European Parliament appointed responsible committees and
rapporteurs. We have a timeline that will give us time until March to
propose changes. Wikimedia drafted several changes and started discussing
them with potential partners and decision-makers.
This and past reports: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_policy/Monitor
*Lead committee:* The Legal Affairs committee (JURI) will have the lead on
copyright reform.  This means that the members of this committee will
vote on changes (so-called amendments) to the text originally proposed by
the European Commission. The version agreed upon by JURI will then be voted
on by all MEPs in the plenary. Further changes in the plenary vote are less
likely, but not uncommon. Within the committee, the rapporteur will be Ms.
Therese Comodini (EPP, MT).  She is from the largest and traditionally
centre-right, conservative group. Every parliamentary group appoints a
shadow rapporteur who represents her group's positions and negotiates in
its name. Ms. Comodini and her shadow rapporteurs will meet regularly,
exchange their views, will try to find compromises and forge majorities for
amendments. The rapporteur is the only one who can propose compromise
amendments. These are attempts to pull together several amendments from
different political groups or MEPs in order to assure a large majority. The
shadow rapporteurs are Lidia Geringer (S&D, PL) , Jean-Marie Cavada
(ALDE, FR) , Ange Dzambazki (ECR, BG) , Julia Reda (Greens, DE) ,
Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT)  and Marie-Christine Boutonnet (ENF, FR) .
These are the key decision-makers at this stage. Of course the other MEPs
in this committee are also relevant, as they also vote in the end of the
committee procedure. If you have MEPs from your country in JURI,  it
would be a good idea to contact them after letting Dimi know that you will
do so (if he hasn't contacted you first).
*Opinion committees:* Next to the Legal Affairs committee, three more
committees will write and present so-called opinions. These are small
reports that propose changes or support aspects of the EU copyright reform
proposal. These documents are not binding, but, depending on the lead
authors, can carry significant political weight. Catherine Stihler (S&D,
UK)  will be rapporteur on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
(IMCO)  committee's opinion. The opinion of the Culture and Education
(CULT)  committee will be lead by the French MEP Marc Joulaud  from
the EPP Group. We expect the Industry, Trade and Research (ITRE) 
committee to appoint an ALDE member as rapporteur. Again, all the MEPs in
these three committees will have a vote on the respective opinions, so
contacting the ones from your country/region might make a lot of sense.
*Timeline:* Ms. Comodini has published a very ambitious timeline, 
according to which until mid-January MEPs will be listening to
stakeholders' views. Then she will meet with her shadows for a first
exchange of views and will draft a report (i.e. sharing her version of what
the text should look like). We have until the end of March to propose
amendments. After that the shadows and Ms. Comodini will try to see if and
how many amendments they can include in the text with a broad compromise.
The agreed upon parts of the text will be voted on in committee in June. If
some amendments couldn't be forged into compromises, they will be voted on
separately during this vote. If they get a majority, they will be in the
text. If not, they will be dropped. A plenary vote could happen end of July
the earliest. Chances are the timeline will be delayed.
*Council:* In parallel to the European Parliament, the Member States'
governments are also starting to review the Commission's proposal. The
European Council will get a chance to amend the text after the European
Parliament has added its changes. However, the national ministries have
started to work on their positions already and are exchanging views among
each other.  The Council might reach its preliminary position
("negotiating position") around summer. The main work on this dossier is
expected to be handled during the Estonian Presidency (H2 2017) . Now
is the time to start telling our national governments what we expect from
this reform. We should then follow-up in the first half of 2017.
*Our demands:* We will lead the charge on three positive changes - a full
Freedom of Panorama, safeguarding the PD ("no new rights on digitisations")
and a recalibration of database rights ("protection upon registration").
For this we have drafted amendments (write to me off-list and I will share)
and are coordinating with potential coalition partners and MEPs to generate
traction. Further, we will actively support a full text and data mining
exception, as the limited version proposed by the Commission may hinder our
ability to automatically re-use data like population censuses or medial
information. The lead on text and data mining will be with LIBER, the
association of European research libraries. We will also speak out against
compulsory content recognition systems for user generated projects.
European Digital Rights (EDRi) will coordinate the efforts on this article.
European culture quotas exists for TV and cinema. The proposal to include a
20 percent quota for European content for online audiovisual service
providers like YouTube, iTunes and CanalPlay is being currently hotly
debated. Also, a legally prescribed protection of minors from inappropriate
content is also to be extended to online services. The big question here is
whether a platform like Wikimedia Commons would qualify as a video sharing
platform under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. If it does, the
quota and protection of minors provision could applicable. Currently there
are strong arguments for (equal rules for all market participants) and
against (questionable effectiveness). It seems like the protection of
minors is less contested, but the definition of what it could look like is
still unclear. A committee vote is scheduled for the end of January 2017.
Nothing really new on this front, mostly internal deliberations by the
Commission on whether or how to differentiate between messengers (e.g
WhatsApp) and SMS services. We are expecting a reform proposal by the
European Commission in January 2017 and perhaps a Christmas leak this
December. This Directive will deal will cookies, collection of user data
and tracking, so it will be a fundamental text for the everyday privacy of
everyone who goes online in Europe. 
Dimi continued working together with chapters/user-groups/activists on
contacting the national goverments with our loclalised positions on the
copyright reform. (Still to do: Belgium and Luxembourg). He was also in
touch with the rapporteurs' and shadow rapporteurs' offices in the EP to
map out potential support for our demands. A Wikipedia workshop for the EPP
Group was organised.
Dimi and John (WMDE) drafted ammendment proposals and collected feedback
from decision-makers and potential coalition partners. Organisational
meetings with various potential coalition partners were organised. As we
are not ready to publish them yet, please get in touch if you want to have
a look and give input!
Heikki from WMFI was welcomed in Brussels and met with four Finnish MEPs to
present our issues.
Xavier, WMFR's upcoming superstar for institutional partnerships visited
Brussels to learn about the FKAGEU and how we can cooperate effectively on
the Brussels-Paris public policy line.
Attendances: OpenCon in Washington DC (open access policy, potential
third-party funding for FKAGEU); EU IPO Observatory working group meetings
in Milan (PD Contribution Study, potential IP awareness campaigns funding
2017); EU XXL debate in Vienna (public discussion of EU copyright reform).