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IAIC on the EU Consultation on ancillary copyright

di Alberto Maria Gambino* e Valeria Falce** The European Commission has recently launched a Public consultation on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain (“Consultation”), aimed at collecting views and inputs in particular on the impact that granting an EU neighbouring right to publishers could have on the publishing sector, on citizens and creative industries.

Thanks to the new sui generis right, strongly supported by the publishing industry, publishers will be entitled to control the circulation and earn revenues for every kind of reuse of digital copyrighted contents.

IAIC believes that, if introduced, such ancillary copyright could result in harmful and unsolicited consequences under a systemic viewpoint for at least the following three different and intertwined reasons.

First, reinforcing neighbouring rights in favour of publishers implies costs, that, if not strictly justifiable, are excessive and disproportionate, leading to an unacceptable reduction of the amount of information available to the public and generating negative effects not only on the publication market, but also on related areas.

Second, introducing further limitations to the use of digital content would affect the dissemination of digital content on the web, restricting the freedom to inform and of being informed, and more broadly jeopardizing the educational and cultural progress.

Third, such regulation could also unfavorably impact the market, as has been the case in other sectors. In the music industry, for instance, similar measures have proven to be ineffective, resulting in 1) higher costs to identify and manage the removal request; 2) time consuming legal actions for obtaining the darkening of unauthorized links.

Last but not least, this new right could damage the entire news chain and further upset the relationship between authors and publishers, with relevant consequences on the final price to detriment of consumers.

In conclusion, in order to preserve and guarantee fundamental rights in the data driven economy, EU shall resist to the temptation to introduce such new neighbouring right.

*Professor of Private Law, European University of Rome – President of Italian Academy of the Internet Code (Iaic)

**Professor of Economics Law, European University of Rome – Founding member of Italian Academy of The Internet Code (Iaic)

Iaic subscribes Public Consultation on the role of the publishers in the copyright value chain and on the “Panorama exception”.

  13 giugno 2016

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