The European Commission recently held an open consultation seeking views on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain, including potentially expanding neighbouring rights to publishers.
LIBER was surprised by this consultation given that neighbouring rights for publishers were not mentioned in the September Communication on copyright reform under the Digital Single Market in December 2015, and was therefore pleased to be invited to a high-level working lunch with MEP Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg on 22 June 2016, where the issue was discussed.
It’s unclear what the aim and the scope of reform in this area might be. LIBER asserts that the burden therefore should be on those eager to introduce such a right to prove it is a necessity. Speakers at the event argued that no such proof exists.
Executive Director Susan Reilly presented the view from the research library community on the discussions, including LIBER’s belief that such a measure would increase the burden of the transactions of licences in a sector that already spends a huge amount on content.
Also speaking at the event was Łukasz Mężyk, co-founder and editor in chief of 300Polityka Newsmagazine and Michal Feix, Deputy General manager at Seznam.cz, a Czech web portal and search engine.
Together with LIBER, Mężyk and Feix shared the view that there was no solid case for in the introduction of this additional layer of rights and that such an expansion of rights would place an unbearable toll on their activities.
Feix was clear that it would penalise his company for choosing to stay operating in the EU. Mężyk believed that it would undermine his company’s healthy and functioning business model.
A condensed version of the speech delivered by LIBER Executive Director Susan Reilly follows below.