April 23, 2009 |

Parliament buckles: copyright extension goes through to Council of Ministers

Against widespread dissent and controversy MEPs in the European Parliament voted this morning to allow copyright term extension to pass a first reading.

4 out of the 7 main groups (ALDE, GREENS/EFA, NGL, IND/ DEM) together with a cross party platform of MEPs voted to reject the proposal. Internal opposition threatened the group positions of the two largest parties (PSE and EPP) as several national delegations and key MEPS also joined the fight to reject. We understand that, in total, 222 voted in favour of rejection, 370 against. The final vote was 317 in favour, 178 against, 37 abstentions. A key amendment to ensure benefits accrued only to performers was also rejected.

The proposal now moves forward to the Council of Ministers where it is currently blocked by member states. The fundamental problems remain: how to include a workable use-it-or-lose it clause; agreeing to deliver real benefits to the vast majority of performers; how to avoid breaking the respect necessary for a functioning IP system by simply taking money from the pockets of consumers.

While the lobbying of powerful vested interests pushed the proposal through, the widespread condemnation in the press, among stakeholders, and in the European Parliament shows that our argument has been won in the eyes of the public and that Europe must create balanced and fair copyright if it wants a system fit for purpose in the 21st century.

We know that many of you wrote to your MEPs in the run up to plenary and for that we thank you. We also remind you that you can have your say on MEPs in the European elections in June and will be releasing a full roll call of the of votes when we obtain it.

Discussions on the proposal will be held in the Council of Ministers and you can find out how to contact your governments relevant IP body here. (We understand the blocking minority is currently made up of Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Romania).

We thank you again for your support again and will keep you updated.

Image by Melanie and John under CC

Comments (15)

  1. Zeg nee tegen copyright at Alper.nl:
    Apr 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    [...] willen dat er meer van dat soort verdedigers van onze collectieve cultuur bestonden. Recent is de copyright termijn in Europa weer opgerekt en onze cultuur weer een stukje verder verkracht voor de zelfverrijking bemiddelende instanties [...]

  2. EU Parliament: Copyright Laws About Corporations NOT Artists. « ⚉|⚇|⚉ Bathroom Stall Prophets:
    Apr 23, 2009 at 09:35 PM

    [...] Open Rights Group: Against widespread dissent and controversy MEPs in the European Parliament voted this morning to allow copyright term extension to pass a first reading. [...]

  3. George:
    May 12, 2009 at 01:52 PM

    Any luck with that roll call list? European elections are coming up, need to know who not to vote for. Thanks. :-)

  4. monstre hírcsokor a digitális világból « /dev/blog:
    May 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    [...] a szerzői jogi védelmet most hetven évre akarjak meghosszabbítani, hogy ez miért rossz? A helyes megoldás: le kellene rövidíteni 14 évre újra. sajnos az első olvasaton átjutott a javaslat. [...]

  5. Becky:
    Apr 24, 2009 at 08:47 AM

    Thanks for this thorough analysis, Gavin. I was mortified when I heard about the vote yesterday, but now you've shown that there's still hope I feel my spirits lifting, if only slightly.

    I contacted all my MEPs in the run up to the vote, and received responses back from two (one positive, one negative). Please do publish that vote list when you have it. Although copyright is only one of the issues the EP deals with in the course of its work, this vote was symbolic. I will not vote for any MEPs who listen to fairy tales not facts when making decisions that affect me, and in this case the facts were more than clear.

  6. Prediction: UK TV and Movie Industry Insignificant in 5 Years:
    Apr 24, 2009 at 06:26 AM

    [...] the copyright term from 50 years to 70 years in Europe. This case was very well documented by the Open Rights Group who have, for quite some time, argued using evidence that there is no real benefit to extending the [...]

  7. joost:
    Apr 26, 2009 at 09:05 PM

    This is an outrage. Right at the time when *people* in EU are massively rejecting the current copyright laws, the EU is extending their reach? Quite simply a horrible case of misrepresentation. The legislators do NOT represent the people of the EU, they are solely in the pockets of big media.

    European Parliament, are you listening? You cannot stop filesharing and you cannot stop p2p and copyright piracy. It will only get worse. By shutting the people off, the only path forward is that of mass disobedience and a hollowing-out of respect for the law. Think for fuck's sake! We, the people, are more powerful than those who are paying your luxury goods. You just wait.

  8. Becky:
    Jun 03, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Here's the voting list, from VoteWatch.eu


  9. Bozena Michalska:
    Apr 27, 2009 at 08:54 AM

    NO, NO, NO
    digital libraries need freedom, our culture need feedom

  10. pb:
    Apr 30, 2009 at 03:01 PM

    "our culture need feedom"

    Creators gain freedom from feedom, a fair reward for their creativity.

    Curious how the best comment at this blog is a Freudian typo.

  11. vic:
    Apr 27, 2009 at 02:39 AM

    From the press release (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/058-54192-111-04-17-909-20090422IPR54191-21-04-2009-2009-false/default_en.htm) :
    "Composers already enjoy copyright protection for 70 years after their death."

    Are they really out of their minds ? Do they "enjoy" this protection from their graves ? I really don't understand how they can say that it protects the artists when it's obviously aimed at preserving a few cash cows (Beatles...) as long as possible. And the public interest is something they apparently have never heard about.

  12. Links 24/04/2009: New Acer Ubuntu Nettop; New Wine | Boycott Novell:
    Apr 25, 2009 at 01:12 AM

    [...] Parliament buckles: copyright extension goes through to Council of Ministers Against widespread dissent and controversy MEPs in the European Parliament voted this morning to allow copyright term extension to pass a first reading. [...]

  13. Micky Maus ist erst Mal sicher | Derangierte Einsichten:
    Apr 23, 2009 at 08:22 PM

    [...] Ratschläge von betroffenen Musikern, gegen das öffentliche Medienecho und wider die Vernunft stimmt die EU für eine Verlängerung der Urheberrechte auf 75 bis 90 Jahre, aber dagegen, die Einkünfte daraus ausschließlich den Künstlern zukommen zu [...]

  14. Dynamo_ace:
    Apr 23, 2009 at 04:04 PM

    Despite the loss, there is still hope that the EU will think.

    Meanwhile, the Film and Television industry seems to be gearing up for another attack on consumers. And the Guardian decided to be biased against the consumer again:


    I ask the Guardian, who's side are you on?

  15. IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 24th, 2009 - Part 2 | Boycott Novell:
    Apr 25, 2009 at 08:50 AM

    [...] Imperial overstretch of the copyright cartel is costing the EU parliament/s (and OBAMAA/Biden) in reputation: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2009… [...]

This thread has been closed from taking new comments.