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Media piles pressure in EU copyright row

Media piles pressure in EU copyright row
By Damon Embling
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Video and open letter released urging EU politicians to back plans to licence sharing of news content


It pits the media against the internet giants. Should web platforms pay for sharing news content?

Releasing an emotive video, one French news agency says they should. An open letter's also been signed by more than 100 journalists - calling for the EU Parliament to back Article 11, which would force the hand of the likes of Google and Facebook.

"This is about how do we ensure surviving of creative material, of creative products in European media. And we need tools to negotiate with those companies who, today, make the money from what you and I are doing," said Mogens Blicher Bjerregard, President of the European Federation of Journalists.

Euronews' Damon Embling explained: "A simple example of how Article 11 would work in practice.

"If I go on Facebook and share a news story, it will generate a photo, a headline, and maybe a snippet of text as a preview - like other social media platforms. In the future, this kind of preview would need a licence from the publisher."

Critics say it amounts to a "link tax" and will stifle freedom on the net. The big tech firms have made no secret of their opposition.

"Platforms like Facebook will not start paying for the privilege to link, they will simply stop showing the links," said Julia Reda, a German MEP.

"So that means users will have less access to diverse information and especially small publishers will have a difficult time to reach readers because people will just go to the websites of newspapers they already know."

The EU parliament rejected a first draft of Article 11 in July, it goes back before politicians next month.

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