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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Academics stress importance of preserving consistency and integrity of EU framework on content monitoring

Professor Kat McKitten
writing his diary at work
A group of EU-based academics (including myself) has just published a letter addressed at a number of EU institutions [you can see the one addressed to the EU Commission here] in the aftermath of the release by the EU Commission of the second copyright package [here and here].

Among other things, the letter focuses on proposed action in relation to content monitoring by intermediaries in the context of the so called 'value gap' proposal [Recitals 38-39 and Article 13 of the proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market], and stresses how the rationale of the existing prohibition of a general monitoring obligation on online intermediaries [as resulting from Article 15 of the ECommerce Directive] is rooted within a number of central objectives, including: 
  1. the encouragement of innovation, which is essential for the flourishing of the Digital Single Market; and 
  2. the protection of fundamental rights of all internet users, including those laid down in Article 7 and 8, Articles 9, 10 and 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
 The letter asks to:
  • maintain the prohibition of general monitoring obligations and make sure that exceptions to general monitoring obligations are always narrowly construed, always pursue a legitimate aim, are always based on a clear and foreseeable legal ground and are always proportionate;
  • make sure that a discussion on the importance of Articles 14 and 15 of the ECommerce Directive is undertaken;
  • open a public and transparent discussion on the interplay between the proposed copyright directive and the ECommerce Directive.

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