Copyright: "There is no obligation for upload filters" – Digital

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Green MEP Helga Trüpel supports the controversial copyright reform. She considers the criticism excessive exaggerated and is not afraid of big filters.


Interview from Simon Hurtz

On Wednesday evening, representatives of the EU Parliament and the EU Member States agreed on a copyright reform. The directive is controversial, critics see in it a danger for the free net. Also the SZ published a comment that puts the risks of reform in the foreground.

Helga Trüpel criticized the text on Twitter as "completely one-sidedIn her interview, the Vice-Chair of the Culture and Education Committee explains why she finds the reform correct and overdue, and argues that the opponents are spreading unnecessary panic over the compromise, which seeks only to ensure that intellectual property is protected online and copyrighted can live from their work.

SZ: You supported the copyright reform right from the start and you are in favor of the current compromise. Why?

Helga Trüpel: I support the reform because I want cultural workers to be paid appropriately for their work. However, as a member of the Culture Committee, I have written some improvements in the text. For example, that journalists are also involved in the income from the ancillary copyright.

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This compromise endangers the free network

The reform of the EU copyright could lead to an error-prone censorship that violates fundamental rights. With their consent, the Federal Government breaks the coalition agreement.Comment by Simon Hurtz


Last night you published a press release, iYou write that "concerns of reform opponents are taken into account". At least in social media, the protest is great. How do you explain the different perception?

The subject collides with many different interests and perceptions. I notice the concern very clearly, after all, I have been working on the subject for ten years. I know the arguments of the opponents of this reform, I just do not share them. In the current compromise, we have anchored many exceptions, such as for Wikipedia or small forums. They are not affected by the particularly hotly debated Article 13. But that does not even appear in the arguments of pirates and net activists. They all believe they can not upload anything anymore. That's just wrong.

The criticism of the reform in its current state comes not only from pirates and net activists. Data protectors, lawyers, IT associations, consumer advocates and numerous net politicians, even in their own party, reject the compromise. Do they all have no idea?

The counter-argumentation is that there is an obligation for upload filters. This duty does not exist. But as this is suggested again and again, people are upset about it. If it were, as the opponents claim, then I would be against it. But it is not like that.

Helga Trüpel sits since 2004 for the Greens in the European Parliament.

(Photo: private)

How can platforms prevent copyright infringement without pre-filtering all content?

The commercial providers should cooperate with the collecting societies in order to then license the contents. Nobody has to filter, but only acquire rights. However, if you do not want to remunerate the authors appropriately, you must not use this content indefinitely.

So the guideline will not mean that even one vendor will introduce automatic pre-filtering?

Exactly. Businesses should pay only if they handle content from third parties. In the analog world, people need to be properly rewarded for their mental work. That also has to be the case in digital space.

Almost as controversial is the ancillary copyright in Article 11. When aggregators use short quotes to link to articles, they should pay the publishers for it. This is mainly aimed at Google. Comparable projects in Germany and Spain have failed. Why should this work better at EU level?

I believe that Google has no interest in curtailing its services to 500 million users, as they have done at national level. The European market is too big for that. For Google is too much financially at stake to take everything off the net.

But Google News has no ads, they do not deserve it?

But it hurts many publishers. Google claims for years that it's a win-win situation, but that's not true. The media hurt when Google takes over their content without paying for it.

In Spain, Google just shut down its news service. They are threatening to do so in Europe if the ancillary copyright law comes into force. Is that just saber-rattling?

I do not think Google goes that far. And if so, then I hope that new, legal offers will be established.

A common comparison is that restaurants also do not charge taxpayers who carry guests. The SZ and other media receive hundreds of thousands of readers from Google. Why should search engines pay publishers for finding people along the way?

This comparison lags. The search engines have only advantages and the publishers disadvantages. It is not just about the bringing in, the platforms play an active role. Many users only go to Google News, but no longer on the websites of the newspapers that produce the content. This is not a sustainable model for publishers. That's why there should be more justice here.

Opponents of the reform say: Now only the European Parliament can save the free net. They are already mobilizing vigorously and calling for the opinion of the Members. What do you think: will Parliament finally launch the reform before the European elections?

I hope so. In any case, I will work for it and try to dispel the concerns of many citizens. I am concerned with proper regulation of digital platforms.

And what happens if MEPs reject the directive, just as they stopped the Acta agreement in 2012?

Then there will be another try to show limits to the tech giants. However, I believe that now is the time for it.

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