Negotiations to hammer out a final version of the European Copyright Directive, scheduled for Monday, January 21, have been postponed after representatives of the 28 EU member countries failed to agree on details about how platforms like Google and its YouTube unit should prevent copyright violations on their services.
The talks, known as a Trialogue, are meant to consolidate three versions of the Directive into one. The versions are those of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. A new date for the talks has not yet been set.
The Council of the European Union, made up of representatives of the 28 member countries, met Friday (Jan 18) to attempt to agree on a common position regarding Article 13, specifically the details about how platforms should prevent publication of content that infringes copyright.
Google and its allies have carried out an intense lobbying campaign against Article 13. YouTube, the world’s dominant video platform, wants to preserve the status quo. Currently YouTube argues that it is only a host of content and claims it is not responsible for copyright violations in content that users upload.
Article 13 aims to clarify that platforms like YouTube are responsible for the content on their services and that the platforms must negotiate with all artists who seek to have their content licensed and be compensated for its use.
The governments that make up the Council also failed to find common ground on how to make sure that protected use of copyrighted material like parody, quotation, criticism and review would not be blocked, according to the FT report.
Pervenche Berès, a French member of the European Parliament, said some EU governments had been “hijacked” by big tech platforms like Google, the FT reported. “All work deserves fair compensation,” the report quoted her as saying.
Nathalie Vandystadt, spokesperson for the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy, said in a post on Twitter that copyright is a “key reform for European citizens and European creative and press sectors”, adding that the Commission “will continue to work to help the the EU colegislators to find a deal."