The evolving regulation on copyright law in the EU is taking a momentous step forward in governing rights and revenues in the press industry. A new Directive is about to be implemented in all Member States, changing the legal reality for European media actors starting from this summer. Among its most debated provisions, the Directive introduces a new right for press publishers to authorize the online use of their press articles: a way to force Big Tech to sit at the negotiation table with newspapers and media outlets, giving something back for their free-riding activities of news customization, aggregation, and personalization.
The intention behind the new European rule is a straight-forward goal of revenue redistribution. However, fundamental questions arise, which may cast some doubts on the successful and sustainable achievement of this objective: will big media outlets and smaller independent publishing companies have the same bargaining power? To what extend will journalists and photo reporters benefit from the new rule? Will online platforms and intermediaries always stay at the negotiation table? And finally, embracing the perspective of the public, will the introduction of this new right lead to a limitation of access to information, doomed to be protected from now on by paywalls?
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård is a freelance international and president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) since 2013. Educated journalist, he is now a consultant on capacity building of media organizations and on media development for democracies through fellowship programs for the EU. Dedicated on authors’ rights, he is a board member of Copydan 2002-2016 and again from 2019 and a member of Authors Rights Expert Group at the EFJ. He has for three decades been dedicated to press freedom and trade union work: 16 years as president of the Danish Union of Journalists 1999-2015; expert in authors’ rights; self-regulation and ethical standards including fighting hate and fakes for the Nordic Council of Ministers. He is in the founding process of the International Media Support, co-signing the MoU of the Council of Europe Safety Platform, and board member of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. He represents Denmark at UNESCO IPDC from 2014.
Zsuzsa Detrekői is a TMT lawyer and a part-time academic. She was a consultant of OpenNet Initative at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for several months in 2007 and 2008. She was the general counsel of major Hungarian online content provider origo.hu. Currently she is legal counsel of a major ISP in Hungary. She also provides legal support for the Association of Hungarian Content Providers. Her research area is online content and internet related regulations about what she wrote her thesis on and earned her PhD in 2016.
Ula Furgal is a postdoctoral researcher at the CREATe Centre, University of Glasgow. She received a PhD in Law from the European University Institute in Florence for her thesis entitled “Rights on news: expanding copyright on the internet” which explores the effects of the new press publishers’ right on the EU copyright framework. Ula holds LLM in Intellectual Property Law from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Law from Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Ula’s research interests lie at the intersection of copyright, information law and media studies. She currently focuses on the regulatory responses to the news media vs digital platforms clash, and the place and role of authors in the European copyright framework, including authors’ reversionary rights.
Giulia Priora is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Law, Politics and Development at Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa) and affiliated researcher at the CEU Democracy Institute’s Center for Media Data and Society. Her work focuses on EU and comparative copyright law, intellectual property, EU digital innovation and media policies, platform regulation and inequalities in the digital markets, with particular attention being dedicated to the fields of education, scientific research, and press information. She is permanent contributor at Kluwer Copyright Blog and has served as visiting scholar at Columbia Law School, University of Hamburg, Bournemouth University, and as visiting lecturer at Bocconi University, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, CMDS, and the universities of Münster, Nuoro, and Yangon.