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EURO ORGS RIP EU FOR CAVING TO YOUTUBE


European rights holders are on the warpath about the Copyright Directive because, they lament, the current draft lets YouTube off the hook for user-generated content.

On 2/7, a concerned coalition comprising 10 orgs, ranging from the IFPI and IMPALA to England’s Premier League, sent an open letter to the EU warning that the Directive’s Article 13, in its present defanged state, “would cause serious harm.”

Efforts by YouTube lobbyists, including motormouthed Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen, to dial back the original version of Article 13, which would have held the video-streaming giant legally responsible for copyright-infringing user-generated content on the platform, resulted in a significant softening of the language.

The EU naïvely falling for YouTube’s distortions of the truth and acceding to its demands is analogous to congressional Republicans bowing to Trump and defying reason.

“We appreciate the efforts made by several parties to attempt to achieve a good compromise in the long negotiations of recent months,” the missive reads in part. “Nevertheless, the outcome of these negotiations in several of the Council discussions has been to produce a text which contains elements which fundamentally go against copyright principles enshrined in EU and international copyright law.

“Far from levelling the playing field, the proposed approach would cause serious harm by not only failing to meet its objectives, but actually risking leaving European producers, distributors and creators worse off.

“Regrettably, under these conditions we would rather have no Directive at all than a bad Directive. We therefore call on negotiators to not proceed on the basis of the latest proposals from the Council.”

Whether or not the EU membership comes to its senses remains to be seen, but this is an extremely troubling turn of events for rights holders in Europe and, by implication, around the world.

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