This week, 89 organisations, defenders of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, co-signed a letter asking for the deletion of controversial articles in the proposed European copyright directive. IFLA, who had already openly underlined the threat posed by these provisions to access to information, is among the signatories. There is right now momentum for their deletion.

Last week, disagreement between Germany and France on Article 13 lay behind a delay in the supposedly last round of discussions on the copyright directive. The Council of Ministers – made up of Member States – could therefore not adopt its mandate to go to the last negotiations with the Parliament and the Commission.

While these two countries disagree on a specific aspect of Article 13, which would force internet platforms to filter all user-uploaded content, several others have called for its deletion. They rightly argue that there has been too much disagreement along the way, proving that there are deep and fundamental flaws in both this, and in Article 11, which provides a new right for press publishers.   

IFLA has consistently advocated for solutions that would make these articles less bad for research and library services; however, technical discussions are over, and although research repositories are more or less exempted, the solution is not yet good enough.

With very positive provisions having been agreed in other parts of the Directive, it is mainly these two articles that would make the Directive a failed attempt to adapt Europe’s copyright to the digital age and to a harmonised digital market. We are hoping that decisionmakers will listen to our call.

Read the joint letter.