Publishers’ stance: Government copyright law is failing its purpose –

27-07-2022, 06:09

One of the principles of the Chamber of Press Publishers is the introduction of a mechanism of mandatory negotiations aimed at determining the remuneration of publishers (photo:

Organizations that have issued advice on the draft law in the field of copyright and neighboring rights include Kamer van Peruitgeverijen and Stichting Centrum Cyfrowe. Both believe that the government bill is incomplete and needs improvement. The government has not yet responded to critical voices.

The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act gives press publishers a new exclusive right to use their press publications on the Internet by various types of websites, including giants such as Google and Facebook.

At the end of June, a draft of this law appeared in the Public Bulletin of the Central Government Legislation Centre. On that day, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage launched public consultations, indicating that it is possible to submit comments on the design within 30 days of the date of inclusion in the BIP.

A joint position on the bill drafted by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has been submitted by the Chamber of Press Publishers, the Association of Journalists and Publishers Repropol and the Association of Local Newspapers.

The organizations believe that without major changes to the presented design, the purpose of the introduction of the new law – i.e. to improve the situation of press publishers in the era of massive use of their publications by various types of websites without payment of the appropriate compensation – will not be reached . The proposed changes proved to be insufficient and sometimes even incompatible with the Directive.

  • Firstly, according to the IWP, the draft law lacks an arbitration procedure. In the opinion of the Chamber, it is necessary to introduce a mechanism of mandatory negotiations to determine the compensation of publishers – in the event that negotiations are avoided by one of the parties or conducted in bad faith.
  • Secondly, there is no reporting obligation in the law. According to the organization, digital platforms should be obliged to provide the necessary materials and exchange information and data on the scope of exploitation of press publications.
  • Third, the definition of “short excerpt” should be clarified, introducing the criterion of substitutability and specifying that framing or other comparable techniques for presenting the publication or its extracts should not be used.

“The scope of the proposed changes to the position presented to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is much broader, but without the implementation of the three above-mentioned instruments, there is a real risk that the rights of publishers and journalists will not be violated effectively. maintained”, we read in the joint opinion of IWP, Repropol and SGL.

According to Fundacja Centrum Cyfrowe, who also issued an opinion on the draft law, the draft in turn lacks provisions regarding the protection of users and their access to justice, so that they can exercise their rights to use the exception or limitation in the field of copyright and related rights. – In our view, such a right to a court of law should apply to all cases of violation of users’ right to use works in accordance with the law. (…) Without such a solution, the entire burden of safeguarding the “public interest” (the right to freedom of expression and access to information) would be shifted to unprofessional users – ordinary citizens – in the opinion of Dr. Konrad Gliściński, an intellectual property expert at Centrum Cyfrowe, and Maria Drabczyk, head of the politics and advocacy department at Centrum Cyfrowe.

Like IWP, Centrum Cyfrowe points out that the mechanism for making available works not available for trade, as adopted in the proposed law, does not meet the requirements of the Directive. – In particular, according to the Directive, this communication must in principle take place on the basis of an agreement with a representative collective management organization or, failing this, on the basis of fair use. The structure adopted in the proposed law introduces an additional verification mechanism in this regard, which will de facto prevent the adopted provisions from making it easier for cultural institutions to use this mechanism, explains the Foundation.

The advice of the organization has yet to be published. The list of institutions that can submit their comments includes: ZAiKS Authors’ Association and the National Broadcasting Council.

According to the directive, the project developed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, taking into account the guidelines of the European Commission, determines that service providers are the entities that use the works posted by users. Thus, they are required to obtain appropriate licenses to use these works. If they get such a license, it will also cover the public sharing of works by their users, which will protect them from the accusation of illegally sharing other people’s content.

The project does not name the companies that would receive such a license, but it concerns operators of digital platforms on which quoted or copied content appears. This will particularly affect Google and Facebook. As a result of the project, press publishers will receive a new exclusive right to use their press publications on the Internet by various information services. 50 percent Publishers are obliged to pay the compensation obtained on this account to the authors of these publications, ie journalists.

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage did not answer our questions about the project. We wanted to know when the comments on the document will be published and confirm whether Foreign Minister Jarosław Sellin is directly responsible for this project – and if so, how he judges the votes on non-compliance with the directive.

(BAE, 27/07/2022)

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