Axel Voss on copyright reform: “We want to protect the rights of creatives” 


Parliament is working on new copyright rules for the digital age to ensure all artists and authors get recognition, payment and protection.

Parliament and Council negotiators reached an agreement on digital copyright rules on 13 February.  It must now be approved by Council representatives and by all MEPs during an upcoming plenary session.

How will these new rules affect the internet? Will it still be possible to create and use memes? German EPP member Axel Voss, responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament, clarifies what it will be all about. 

Axel Voss  

Whose rights will this legislation protect?

We want to protect and to strengthen the rights of the creatives: authors, performers, singers, songwriters, journalists... all copyright-holders. They are all in a miserable situation: their work is used by huge platforms who make a lot of profit with it. But the rights holders themselves often do not get a share of this profit. Huge American platforms make money whilst our creatives die out. This is why we have to strengthen their rights by making the platforms responsible.

Will memes and derivative fan works be affected?

No, they are absolutely not at risk. They will still be covered by the copyright exception that already exists in national legislation. The user is not affected by this reform at all. Only the platforms are responsible.

What does Article 11 on the digital use of press publications aim to do?

Nowadays, the big platforms use press content, make a lot of money with it, and the publishers do not get a share. Article11 gives press publishers an own right, so that they can claim remuneration if platforms use their content. What can still be used is the hyperlink and the private copy. They are not covered by article 11 and can be set by every platform, Wikipedia for example.

What will change for small/independent publishers and authors?

They can also claim remuneration from the platforms that use their content. Especially for the small publishers this is of utmost importance, because their position is very weak compared to the big platforms.

Is the internet  at risk?

No, of course not. Nothing will change, except that platforms will be responsible for copyright infringements.

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Huge American platforms make money whilst our creatives die out. This is why we have to strengthen their rights and make platforms responsible

Axel Voss