Copyright directive is a setback for the European digital economy

Commenting on the European Parliament's vote on the Copyrght directive, techUK's Head of Brexit, International and Economics, Giles Derrington, said:

"Today’s vote on the Copyright directive is hugely disappointing and represents a setback for an innovation-led European economy. Far from advancing the European digital economy through the Digital Single Market, the proposals adopted by the European Parliament today will lead to significant additional burdens on companies seeking to serve the European market. It is bad news, not just for UK digital businesses, but also for the general public who now risk seeing their freedoms online being restricted.

"While the aims of the Copyright directive proposals were understandable, the method that has been adopted will not achieve the stated objectives. Requirements for platforms to filter all user uploaded content will likely result in a reduced user experience and the over-removal of legitimate content. The creation of a new neighbouring right for press publishers will make sharing news articles online more difficult, making it harder for the public to find good quality journalism online. Today was also a lost opportunity to make Europe a more attractive place for Artificial Intelligence development. Instead, fragmented rules across the EU will mean a confusing picture on where text and data mining technologies are allowed.

"The proposals will now enter interinstitutional negotiations with the European Commission and European Council where there is an opportunity for further compromise. techUK urges the negotiators to take any steps possible to protect the open internet during these discussions.

"To be clear, the UK leaving the European Union will not protect UK businesses from these new requirements. Any UK business seeking to serve the EU market will have to comply with the directive which, given the size and importance of the EU market to UK businesses, will be a significant barrier to market entry."

techUK had previously welcomed the European Parliament’s rejection of the Copyright directive in July and called for further compromise. You can see that response here.

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