[Advocacy Advisors] EU Policy Monitoring Report July

Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov at gmail.com
Fri Aug 1 16:06:49 UTC 2014

Hi all,

this is the pre-Wikimania round-up of Brussels politics, policy and,
frankly, gossip. The articles a bit longer than usual, but its been an
exciting month :)

See you in a few short days!


Wikimedia and the EU

July Report


The copyright reform white paper and impact assessment were postponed,
while at about the same time the new Commission President made reforming
copyright his top priority. Meanwhile the EC proclaimed Creative Commons
licenses as a de-facto standard for public sector information, albeit in
non-binding guidelines.

This and past reports: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_policy/Monitor


1. Copyright Consultation Review Released

2. EU Recommends Free Licenses for Public Sector Information

3. New Commission President Makes Copyright Reform Top Priority

4. Recommended Action: Advocacy at Wikimania




1. Copyright Consultation Review Released

Why is this relevant?

A consultation along with a white book and an impact assessment are usually
the three steps the European Commission takes before drafting a new
legislation proposal. It means that this will flow into a copyright reform
proposal, something we expect during the coming Commission’s term.

What happened?

The Directorate-General for the Internal Market (DG MARKT) was supposed to
release a white paper on copyright reform this July. As it turns out, two
other DGs, namely DG Research and DG Connect, were not happy with the draft
at the inter-service consultation, [1][2] forcing DG MARKT to withdraw it
and start re-writing the document. For all we know, DG Connect and DG
Research are in favour of harmonising limitations and exceptions and even
would like to extend them, while DG MARKT prefers to have everything
licensed. DG CULTURE tends to speak up for artists remuneration in a manner
practically defending the status quo. In the course of exchanging arguments
in public, DG Connect even picked up the Freedom of Panorama issue from us.

Trying to avoid a complete disaster, DG MARKT made sure to at least release
its review of the copyright consultation.[5] A short summary can be found
below (It is important to keep in mind that to get universal Freedom of
Panorama in Europe, we’d need at least some harmonisation:

Respondent group in favour of harmonisation:
->Institutional users

(Generally consider that territoriality of copyright creates problems in
particular in the area of exceptions, where a higher level of harmonisation
is needed.)
->End Users

(Consider that market-led solutions have not proven to be effective and
that harmonisation measures are needed.)
->Institutional users

(Generally support copyright harmonisation which implies making exceptions
mandatory and harmonising their scope to a greater extent.)
->Minority of authors and performers

(Would seek a harmonisation or clarification of  the existing exceptions.)
-Intermediaries/service providers

(Many respondents from this group argue for more harmonisation and legal
certainty in the area of exceptions.)
-Academia, civil society or think-tanks

(generally consider that the optional nature of the exceptions is
problematic and that exceptions should be further harmonised.)

Respondent group against further harmonisation:

-> Film producers

(Generally consider that the current EU copyright rules should not be


(Most respondents in these stakeholder groups are against any further
harmonisation, which they consider would risk a weakening of copyright
protection in Europe at the expense of creators.)
->Collective Management Organisations

(Consider that the territoriality of exceptions doe not constitute a
problem for right holders, businesses or consumers)
->Publishers & Software industry
(Warn that further harmonisation could undermine the role of licences.)

Split on further harmonisation:

(Depending on the specific question this groups seems divided)
->Member States

(Some want more harmonisation, others want to keep options.)

A very good overview of the main positions by stakeholder:


What comes next?

We’re expecting the white paper and the impact assessment to not be
published until at least October this year.

Meanwhile it will be interesting to see who the new Commissioners dealing
with copyright reform will be and make sure they get asked some relevant
questions during their hearings at the European Parliament in September.

At the same time, we need to make ourselves heard and try to strengthen the
“pro harmonisation” position within the institutions. To achieve this we’re
planning a position paper (comments welcome!). [6]



#PSI #digitalagenda

2. EU Recommends Free Licenses for Public Sector

Why is this relevant?

While these are non-binding, they still represent the official opinion of
the European Commission or at least DG Connect. It clearly states that
public information and content should be free and re-usable without
restriction, making it a useful argument in debates with other DGs and

What happened?

Back in November 2013, me and Mathias from WMDE attended [7] a public
hearing on the latter of implementing the revised Public Sector Information
Directive to include re-use permissions. It was organised by DG Connect in
Luxembourg, as many public sector bodies had signalled having a hard time
understanding what needs to be done. Together with LAPSI [8] and
CreativeCommons we were pushing the following points:

-> No NC restrictions (distributing our brochure [9])
-> Free of charge access
-> Using standard licenses that are really free (strongly proposing cc-0
and cc-by)
-> We raised the issue of copyfraud

The Commission published the guidelines this month [10], where it

-> No licensing of material that is already in the public domain
-> Using cc-0 as a default license
-> Using cc-by where a public sector body doesn't feel comfortable with cc-0
-> If a body really needs to create an own license, it should make sure its
-> Marginal charges are allowed can include return on investment not higher
than 5% of fixed interest rate
--> However: online access and distribution should be free of charge

I had the chance to talk to Szymon Lewandowski, Policy Officer for DG
Connect, at an event in Brussels. According to him, they didn't include a
statement on NC clauses, because they believed that this would only
increase the chances of institutions thinking of such a possibility and
thus using it.

What comes next?

Follow-up on the implementation in public bodies and see how many actually
follow the guidelines. If the number is way low, this might be an argument
to push for stronger measures (e.g. legislation) in a few years. However,
these guidelines give us an immediate argument when negotiating the release
of content with public bodies.



#copyright #POTEC

3. New Commission President Makes Copyright Reform Top Priority

Why is this relevant?

Any kind of reform, but especially in the sector of intellectual property
rights, depends on political will, which in turn depends on our ability to
keep it on the agenda long enough. Copyright isn’t normally a major
political topic (yet), so this is big.

What happened?

The newly elected President of the European Commission (due to the
popularity of some TV shows the label #POTEC caught on) released his top 5
priorities [11] while running his campaign to get elected. Surprisingly, at
number one we can read “we will need to have the courage to break down
national silos in telecoms regulation, *in copyright* and data protection
legislation”. This moves copyright reform to the top of the political
agenda in Brussels over the next 5 years. .

What comes next?

We will need to see which Commissioner (i.e. with Directorate-General) will
get the lead in copyright reform. Current holders are DG MARKT but
theoretically it might go to DG Connect or even become a signature issue of
Juncker himself. Julia Reda, MEP for the Pirate Party, asked a question
regarding this during his hearing with the Greens/EFA group, [12] but there
was no clear answer.

Where this helps us immediately is that we can go up to any MEP of the two
largest political groups in the European Parliament and say that the person
they voted for supports copyright reform as his top priority. This makes
them pay more attention.




4. Recommended Action

Among other things we’re planning the following actions/campaigns in the
next months:

1. Having Chapters mail the MEPs from their countries with our three issues

2. Releasing a position paper on copyright reform [6]

3. Get volunteers to “adopt MEPs” from their own
language/country/constituency [14]

4. Have clear strategy plans for FoP and PDGov (incl. argumentation) [15]

You can join in and help with any of those, but you should also look out
for us at Wikimania, where we can discuss everything at lengths :). Here’s
the agenda:

1. Presentation Liquid Lobbying [16] - Saturday (9th) between 15:30-16:00 @
Fountain Room

2. Panel Discussion Liquid Lobbying [17] Saturday (9th) between 16:30-18:00
@Fountain Room

3. Digital Rights Lunch [18] Sunday (10th) between 13:00-14:30 @ room TBD

4. Working on Strategy Monday (11th) between 12:00-14:00 @ Wikimedia UK

4.2. Alternative: Dimi will be at the Barbican on Thu(7th) at 16:00 for
those who can’t make Mon

5. Wendy's Weasel Whiteboard on Wheels - throughout the conference




















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