Copyright Reform, GS Media and Innovation Climate in the EU – Euphonious Chord or Dissonant Cacophony?
Tijdschrift voor auteurs-, media- en informatierecht 2016, pp. 130-133
4 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2016 Last revised: 5 Dec 2016
Date Written: November 6, 2016
The copyright reform package tabled by the European Commission and the decision of the Court of Justice in GS Media caused an earthquake in EU copyright law. The reform plans will hardly lead to a ‘modern’ copyright framework, as announced by the Commission in its communication 'Towards a Modern, More European Copyright Framework' of 9 December 2015. In the GS Media case concerning hyperlinks to leaked Playboy magazine photographs, the Court seems to downgrade copyright to a mere unfair competition claim in an attempt to regulate hyperlinks to illegal online content on the basis of harmonized EU copyright law. From the perspective of innovation policy, both developments appear problematic.
Neither the copyright reform nor the GS Media decision seem conducive to the innovation climate in the EU. Instead of less market entrance barriers and more room for new business models, the copyright reform and the GS Media decision are likely to lead to further market concentration and less room for new business models. Given the fact that the conceptual contours of a ‘modern’, innovation-friendly copyright regime for the digital era have already been drawn quite clearly in various copyright research projects and related literature, it is difficult to understand why EU policy makers and courts still have so much difficulty to develop an appropriate legal framework.
Keywords: copyright, innovation, digital environment, ancillary neighboring right for publishers, value gap, safe harbor for hosting, fair use, hyperlinking, monitoring illegal content, exceptions and limitations, knowledge of infringement, EU copyright reform, Digital Single Market Strategy
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