A Proposal that Safeguards Freedom of Expression

 

 

 

 

 

The Copyright Directive proposal creates a new era for creators and platforms

 

One of the main criticisms of notice and take-down procedures is that it risks taking down content that has no reason to be taken down, thereby limiting the freedom of expression of consumers.

 

However,

 

 

Licensing means that content exists legally and there is no need to take any down for copyright matters

 

Since the platform service will be licensed for copyright relevant acts, the act of individual users will also be cleared by the same licence. This means that consumers do not need to think about whether they need to clear the communication to the public right or whether the content they create might be removed.

 

This equates a better deal for creators, platforms and consumers: artists want their works to be visible, while being fairly remunerated, and platforms have created their business model based on the accessibility of these works.

 

 

Services will specifically monitor against data provided by rights holders, therefore not affecting the freedom of expression

 

 

 

There might be cases where specific content is removed for different reasons, for example based on a claim by a right holder, or because the platform did not agree to a licence, or the algorithms used by the platform malfunction. If, in such a case, content that should not have been removed (e.g. because it involves an exception or the uploader has all the necessary rights, etc.) is removed, and only in such a case, there might be a need to consider ‘freedom of expression’ aspects.

 

However, in this respect, it should be noted that the proposed law would eliminate the majority of possible occurances thanks to the technical cooperation between rights holders and platforms. Moreover, the introduction of “complaints and redress” mechanisms would quickly and efficiently address such (limited) risks of blocking or removing lawful content with more legal certainty for consumers.

 

GESAC has always argued for the improvement of redress mechanisms for consumers, especially vis-à-vis such platform services.

 

  • For a further in-depth analysis of relevant CJEU cases and of the compatibility with the acquis communautaire, read more here.