– On Tuesday, Ms. Therese Comodini Cachia, a member of the European Parliament and main rapporteur for the European Commission’s new copyright proposal finalised her draft opinion on the proposal. The draft proposal was first leaked by Politico.
The much discussed article 11 of the proposal that introduces a new press publishers right remains in the draft but with a significant modification: rather than creating a new press publishers right, Ms. Comodini Cachia proposes to give press publishers “a presumption of representation of authors […] and the legal capacity to sue in their own name”. The proposal thus strikes a workable balance between the Commission’s proposal and that of the IMCO committee rapporteur, by circumventing the uncertainty surrounding the introduction of a new right and at the same time addresses the main concerns of press publishers.
Another significant change is the removal of the “research organisations” limitation for text and data mining, as proposed by the Commission, to a much broader exception for any “person who has lawful access to works and other subject matter provided that reproduction or extraction is used for the sole purpose of text and data mining”. The change is akin to a much-cited mantra in stakeholder discussions: a right to read, is a right to mine. Additionally, a new article 3(1a) introduces an “obligation on rightholders who market works or other subject matter primarily for research purposes to provide research organisations not having lawful access to those works or other subject matter with datasets that enable them to carry out text and data mining”.
The draft also proposes to include “public service broadcaster[s]” in the definition of cultural heritage institutions, to maintain “consistency in the definition of these institutions” vis-a-vis existing directives as “is needed for legal certainty”.
With regards to the Commission’s exception for illustration and teaching purposes, Ms. Comodini Cachia proposes to extend the limitation beyond “non-commercial purpose” to a wider “education purpose”, as well as not limiting it to the premises of an educational establishment but rather make it “restricted to the specifically limited circle of those taking part in the teaching activity”.
If the final version of Ms. Comodini Cachia's draft corresponds to the leak, it seems to present a workable compromise for all parties in what can otherwise be characterised as a highly dividing discussion.