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Franco-German compromise brings Article 13 agreement nearer


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The negotiations around the new EU copyright directive, and its Article 13 section focusing on user-uploaded-content sites, continue.

The key dates to be aware of: final discussions between ministers of the EU states take place this Friday, with a final text theoretically to be agreed on Tuesday 12 February. That’s when we’ll know whether the final version of Article 13 (which will still have to be voted on by the European Parliament and then implemented by individual countries) swings towards creative-industry rightsholders or not.

The latest news is a compromise brokered by France and Germany, which aims to provide an exception for startups. The gist: a service that’s been publicly available for less than three years, with fewer than five million monthly unique visitors, and an annual turnover of less than €10m, would be exempt – or rather “subject only to a notice and take down obligation” (as is currently the case for all these platforms).

MEP Julia Reda, who has been a prominent critic of Article 13, has blogged about her unhappiness with the compromise. “Countless apps and sites that do not meet all these criteria would need to install upload filters, burdening their users and operators, even when copyright infringement is not at all currently a problem for them,” she suggested. All eyes are on the ‘trilogue’ process over the next few days.

Stuart Dredge

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