[Advocacy Advisors] Wikimedia EU Monitoring Report March 2015

Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 16:42:57 UTC 2015

Wikimedia and the EU
March 2015 Report

Two of our main goals, Freedom of Panorama and Government Works in the
Public Domain have been proposed in the draft report on the Implementation
of the InfoSoc Directive (a.k.a. “Copyright Directive”). However a large
number of the tabled amendments aim at limiting or removing the original

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

1. InfoSoc Implementation Draft Report Amendment Proposals Published

2. IMCO Committee Vote on Opinion for InfoSoc Implementation Report

3. Commission Hates Geo-Blocking and/or Alarm Clocks

4.NYU/HEC EU Regulatory Clinic Work on Freedom of Panorama


#fixcopyright #DSM #FoP #PDGov

1. InfoSoc Implementation Draft Report -  Amendment Proposals Published

Why is this relevant?

The Report on the Implementation of the Information Society Directive is an
own-initiative report by the European Parliament. [1] This means that it is
not legally binding, but it nonetheless tells the European Commission what
reform proposals the EP expects and is likely to approve. After the
rapporteur Julia Reda (Pirate Party, Greens/EFA Group, DE) proposed a draft
text [2] in the Legal Affairs Committee, other MEPs are now allowed to put
forward amendment proposals [3][4] before the rapporteur and her shadow
rapporteurs (one from each political group) look for compromises.

What happened?

The presented draft report included both our core issues – Freedom of
Panorama (FoP) and Government Works in the Public Domain (PDGov). Both were
however fiercely attacked by many MEPs. A group of more than 23 members
from the Socialists (S&D) and People’s Party (EPP) Groups, the two largest
blocks, want to delete PDGov altogether. Another group of 16 members,
mainly made up of EPP MEPs, want to include a “non-commercial” restriction
to European Freedom of Panorama.

A shout-out goes to Mr. Jean-Marie Cavada [5], French MEP and shadow
rapporteur for the Liberal (ALDE) Group. Not only did he propose to include
“non-commercial” in FoP, but when asked about it, his directrice de cabinet
Colette Bouckaert stated that “Wikipedia is stealing from authors because
we give information away for free”. Interestingly enough, Mr. Cavada does
have picture of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg on his
official website. [6][7]

What’s next?

Our two main goals right now are to get rid the FoP NC condition and to
keep PDGov in the report. We are discussing the FoP NC condition primarily
with the EPP group.

To strengthen public domain, we will focus on the S&D. Should we succeed in
getting S&D support, there is a better chance of getting the other large
groups on board. We also have some traction within the S&D from their
Austrian, Polish and Romanian delegations. The largest delegation is the
Italian one. Federico Leva from WMIT is coming to Brussel mid-April as a
first “Visiting Weasel” to help with this.

Currently active Wikimedia chapters, user groups and individuals on these
efforts are from Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy,
Malta, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and
Sweden (ordered by an imaginary line drawn in my head, not by merits). If
you want to join, please respond on or off list. Some information
unfortunately cannot be shared on a public mailing list at this point.


#fixcopyright #DigitalSingleMarket

2.  IMCO Committee Vote on Opinion for InfoSoc Implementation Report

Why is this relevant?

Next to the lead committee, which in this case is Legal Affairs (JURI),
other EP bodies get to voice an opinion, too. In this case these are the
Internal Market (IMCO), Industry (ITRE) and Culture (CULT) Committees.
Their opinions aren’t binding even to JURI, but give a somewhat more global
picture of what the Parliament thinks and need to be taken into account.

What happened?

IMCO is the first committee that voted and adopted its opinion on the
copyright report. [8] An opinion in this case reads like a list of
different thoughts and amendment proposals. In this case the IMCO opinion
says a little bit of all. It says that authors’ rights and income are
important, that users’ expectations aren’t met and that it sees the
fragmented market both a necessary and as an obstacle. It also claims that
re-opening the directives dealing with enforcement is a must. The opinion
finally calls on the Commission to find a balanced way to solve all these
contradictions. There’s really nothing too offensive in this, except for
welcoming the horribly failed “Licenses 4 Europe” stakeholder dialogue. The
move to cross this particular paragraph off was lost by 1 vote.

What’s next?

We especially note the part of the IMCO report that “urges the Commission
and the Member States to promote a higher level of harmonisation and a
balanced framework for exceptions and limitations that does not cause any
harm to right holders, conforms with consumer expectations, fosters both
creativity and innovation, and adapts to the technology advances in the
digital environment;” We will point out that FoP and PDGov are the
exception to copyright that don’t hurt right holders in any significant
way. This makes them compatible with the IMCO opinion.


#Ansip #Oettinger #DSM #fixcopyright

3.  Commission Hates Geo-Blocking and/or Alarm Clocks

Why is this relevant?

The Commission is hammering away on the actual legal text on copyright
reform so it is important to keep an eye on them and try to keep our
demands afloat. They are expected to publish their proposal around summer
this year.

What happened?

Both responsible Commissioners – Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner
Oettinger – talked about their visions for digital reforms. While the
former wants to abolish geo-blocking  and literally said “I hate
geo-blocking”, the latter commented that he hates his “alarm clock in the
morning at five o’clock” and that we shouldn’t be so quick about getting
rid of it. [9][10]

Apart from that, Mr. Oettinger also reconfirmed that he continues to be a
big fan of ancillary copyright, which already failed the on-road test in
Germany and is about to crash other EU countries. The more visionary
statement came from Mr. Ansip, who talked about harmonizing exceptions at
least for libraries and disabled people and guaranteeing that text and data
mining would be legal. [11]

What’s next?

Wikimedia had a meeting with the European Commission copyright unit last
week, presenting the fourth FoP analysis we produced (see below) and trying
to feel out the Commission's position. They seem to be struggling to find a
coherent strategy as internal struggles have deadlocked certain parts of
the proposal. The message that the Copyright Unit would look for political
leadership, including from the European Parliament, was very clearly



4.  NYU/HEC EU Regulatory Clinic Work on Freedom of Panorama

Why is this relevant?

While studies and analyses are often biased in Brussels, having them is
fundamental to any point you want to make, if you want it to have a chance
of sounding credible. Academic analyses work as door-openers and give your
views extra attention.

What happened?

The New York University and the Haute Ecole des Commerces run a EU
Regulatory Law Clinic in Brussels [12], which produced an analysis [13] of
the the currently fragmented Freedom of Panorama situation in Europe. This
was presented by the participants to the European Commission (Jaime Mendoza
from the Copyright Unit) and the European Parliament (JURI chair Pavel
Svoboda and InfoSoc rapporteur Julia Reda). The conclusion presented was
that harmonising Freedom of Panorama to include commercial and derivative
uses is the optimal way.

Two interesting questions were raised. Jaime Mendoza asked us if we need to
define the commercial use of FoP positively or it would be enough to omit
the word “noncommercial” into the text. The answer given was that
positively defining that any use is allowed would be the best way to go.
Pavel Svoboda wondered if a chocolate model of building and its subsequent
sale would and should be permitted under the FoP exception. The answer
given was that not limiting FoP to 2D reproductions would be wise in light
of future technological developments as 3D TV.

What’s next?

The finalised version of the report will be circulated among EP and the
European Commission decision-makers. This should give us an excuse to
contact everyone again, remind them of our issue and demonstrate the
seriousness of our work.














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