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“It is time for a fair copyright framework! The European creative sector deserves legislative action.” German literary and non-fiction publishers issue an appeal from Munich

28.01.2019

The legislative process relating to the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market has stalled at a crucial stage. Member States have not managed to agree on a joint proposal.

All negotiating parties agree on a provision that is crucial for the book sector as it would permit Member States to re-introduce a publisher share in compensation distributed by collecting societies. However, there is widespread disagreement with regard to the modalities involved in remunerating authors and other rights holders when their works are used on Internet platforms. The European Parliament’s current legislative period is set to end soon, which means that the conclusion of the entire legislative process has been thrown into jeopardy due to one last sticking point.

At their annual meeting in Munich, the German literary and non-fiction publishers issued the following appeal to the German federal government, the Council and the European Parliament:

“It is time for a fair copyright framework! The European creative sector deserves legislative action. We call on you not to let the DSM Directive fail at the last moment. This legislation is tremendously important to all authors, artists and rightsholders in Europe. It is high time for fair rules on the Internet: We ask that you ensure that artists and other rightsholders are remunerated fairly for their work. This includes a provision permitting publishers in Germany once again to be compensated for the uses of the works they publish under exceptions. Small and medium-sized German book publishers, in particular, urgently require this source of revenue if they are to be able to continue investing in quality and diversity. In the course of negotiations on the Directive, rights holders have accepted some painful compromises. We now expect an equal willingness to compromise on the part of Member State governments with regard to the few remaining issues.”

Roughly 150 individuals representing Germany’s literary and non-fiction publishers and bookstores gathered in Munich on Thursday for the annual convention of IG Belletristik und Sachbuch, an interest group within Börsenverein (German Publishers and Booksellers Association). Participants discussed current affairs in politics, culture and the book sector.

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