Howard Ricklow comments on the battle over EU copyright law which could change the balance of power between artists and hosting websites

11 Sep 2018

It is no surprise that the proposed EU draft directive on copyright has creators and ISP’s/distributors at loggerheads. On the one hand the likes of Facebook, Google and YouTube maintain that this raises concerns about “freedom of the press”, but these concerns are counterbalanced by copyright creators such as playwrights, musicians and newspapers, who see the uncontrolled reproduction of their copyright work on such platforms with little or no compensation paid or ability to get content taken down.

The extraordinary hyperbole that this will destroy the internet is, shall we say, somewhat overstated.

The strong indications are that copyright will prevail. It would be unfair to copyright creators if arguments based on “freedom of the press” enabled platforms like Facebook, Google and YouTube to bypass existing copyright laws. The EU directive on copyright is to be welcomed as a measure going some way to tip the balance back towards originators and innovators.

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