The Copyright Directive is pro-innovation, is fair for Creators, enables the internet’s future and we support it.
We represent technology start-ups across Europe, and we support the Copyright Directive. The future of the digital landscape of our continent and our culture will be shaped. We’re pro-creativity, we’re-pro innovation and we are pro-culture.
No other proposed regulation has generated so much noise. We feel the voices of European technology start-ups have not been heard enough in this debate to date.
With any new regulation, compromise is required. Three years of negotiations between Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament have developed a text that we believe is good and so we urge our elected representatives to vote for it.
The Directive is a positive step forward in the interests of innovation and Europe’s start-ups.
The compromise text should be supported for the following reasons:
#1 for creators and artists: The Directive gives them a say by strengthening their rights. It balances the relationship between creators and the businesses that rely on their content, be it producers, publishers, or online platforms. It fosters transparency by forcing big UGC platforms to be open about their rules and practices (Art. 13.8)
#2 for citizens: The Directive secures these rights by explicitly banning any general monitoring or arbitrary takedowns of content. Online sharing services cannot use filters to randomly stop content. This is explicitly written in Article 13.7: “the provisions [...] shall not lead to any general monitoring obligation”.
#3 for uploaders and all users who want to share content online: In Article 13.2, there are provisions that protect uploaders. It provides them with new protection, forcing big UGC platforms to justify any decision to remove content. For those who want to mash-up and play around with content, it guarantees exceptions to copyright such as quotations, criticism, review, caricature, parody etc. Memes and Gifs are safe, and freedom of speech is specifically safeguarded in article 13.5
#4 for a free and open internet: The new definition of article 13 specifically excludes non-profit platforms such as Wikipedia, market places, open source platforms and internet service providers, or cloud services.
#5 for start-ups and innovation in Europe: we welcome the Smart Exception introduced in article 13 to protect start-ups. Today, the picture for start-ups and their use of copyright content is unclear. Article 13.4a gives start-ups a special exemption during their first three years, providing them with the legal certainty that is key for investment and growth.
The scope is very broad: any start-up below 10 M€ revenue, a threshold that covers more than 95% of European start-ups (e.g. in France, a BPI/E&Y study indicates that start up average revenue reaches 7M€ only after 9 years) and an average number of monthly unique visitors below 5 million.
The Directive will not bring “censorship” or “break the internet”. On the contrary, we fear that biased online campaigns, are in fact in danger of breaking free opinion and breaking European democracy. 74% of Europeans, in a recent Harris Interactive poll surveyed in 8 countries, think that when Tech Giants speak out, they do so to protect their own economic interest rather that the public interest. The views of Europeans cannot be ignored.
We say #Yes2copyright, we urge our Members of the European Parliament to vote yes to the current version of the Directive with no further delay.
Jean-François Césarini cofondateur de la French Tech; Benoit Thieulin, ex Chairman of French Digital Council (Conseil National du Numérique) and cofounder of Netscouade; Duong Pham, founder of PIMS; Grégoire Harel, founder of ProArti; Pierre Bellanger, Founder and CEO of SkyRock Group;
Alexandre Leforestier, founder of PanOdyssey; Olivier Laouchez, founder of TraceTV; Louis Torreton, co-founder of Troupers; David Schmitz, founder of OpenJam; Clotilde Chalot, founder of NoMad Music; Niclas Molander CEO of Session; László Tamás, Founder of VIDDO;
Rupert Hine and Alan Graham, Co-founders of OCL; Bernt Böhmer, CEO of Omnio Sound; Mike Waters, Chair of the Commercial Anglo-Dutch Society; Prof Dr Nigel Osborne MBE FRCM FEIS FRSE, CTO X-System; Herwig Lejsek, CEO of Videntifier Technologies ehf; Pierre Gambini, CEO of Polytopes; Gilles Moyse, Founder of reciTAL; Marc Leprat, Founder of Viewpay; Frederic Fiore, CEO of Cascade8; Damien Callerot, CEO, co-founder of Polkatulk/scenso.tv; Benoit Defamie, CEO of DR.GROOV’; Sophie de Menthon, founder of ETHIC; Marie-Christine LEVET, Chairman of Educapital and ex Chairman of Club Internet; Eric de Rugy, Chairman of Fédération Joyce; Damien Vincent, Co-founder of Imparato; Sébastien Tézé and Xavier Pryen, co-founders of OPSISTV; Orianne Vilmer, co-founder of la Fabrique de la Danse; Clément Souchier, founder of Bridge Audio, and also : Blockchain Core, Radio Michelle, Radio Robinson, Start Events, AdNote, Gigride, Kopjra, Mind Your Rights Ltd