Hot Off The PressNews

The Council of the EU and the Commission found a political agreement to make the copyright rules fit for digital era in Europe and bring tangible benefits to all creative sectors, the press, researchers, educators, cultural heritage institutions, and citizens.

Better protection for European authors and performers and for journalism

The new Directive reinforces the position of European authors and performers in the digital environment and enhances high-quality journalism in the EU. In particular, it brings:

–  Tangible benefits to all creative sectors, specifically creators and actors in the audio-visual and musical sectors, by reinforcing their position vis-à-vis platforms to have more control over the use of their content uploaded by users on these platforms and be remunerated for it.

– The principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers will be laid down for the first time in European copyright law.

– Authors and performers will enjoy access to transparent information on how their works and performances are exploited by their counterparts (publishers and producers). This will make it easier for them to negotiate future contracts and to receive a fairer share of the generated revenues.

– If publishers or producers fail to exploit the rights that authors and performers have transferred to them, authors and performers will be allowed to revoke their rights.

–  European press publishers will enjoy a new right, which aims to facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is re-used on online platforms. It will give journalists the right to receive a greater share of the revenues generated by the online uses of press publications. This right will not affect citizens and individual users, who will continue to enjoy and share news hyperlinks as they do today.

New rules to reinforce the interests of citizens and internet users

Users will benefit from the new licencing rules which will allow them to upload copyright-protected content on platforms like YouTube or Instagram legally. They will also benefit from safeguards linked to the freedom of expression when they upload videos that contain rightholders’ content, i.e. in memes or parodies. The interests of the users are preserved through effective mechanisms to swiftly contest any unjustified removal of their content by the platforms.

The new Directive will ensure wider access to knowledge by simplifying copyright rules in the areas of text and data mining for research and other purposes, education and preservation of cultural heritage:

  •  Research organisations, universities, and other users will be able to make the most of the increasing number of publications and data available online for research or other purposes as they will benefit from a copyright exception to carry out text and data mining on large sets of data. This will also enhance the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence in Europe.
  • Students and teachers will be able to use copyrighted materials in online courses, including across borders, for the purposes of illustration for teaching.
  • The preservation of cultural heritage in the collections of European museums, archives and other cultural heritage institutions will have no copyright restrictions.

Users will also have access to works, films or music records that are no longer commercially available in Europe today, as well as wider variety of European audiovisual works on video-on-demand (VoD) platforms.

They will be completely free to share copies of paintings, sculptures and other works of art in the public domain with full legal certainty.

Copyright Reform: Commission welcomes European Parliament’s vote in favour of modernised rules fit for digital age

European Parliament voted in favour of the new Copyright Directive designed to bring tangible benefits to citizens, all creative sectors, the press, researchers, educators, and cultural heritage institutions.

Next Step

European Parliament will now need to be formally endorsed by the Council of the European Union in the coming weeks. Once published on the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national legislation.

Background

In September 2016 the European Commission proposed modernising EU Copyright rules for European culture to flourish and circulate, as part of the Digital Single Market strategy.

The EU Copyright reform is a priority file for the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission. It modernises EU copyright rules which date back to 2001, when there were no social media, no video on demand, no museums digitising their art collections and no teacher providing online courses.

Press Release

European Commission

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: A Three-Judge Bench comprising of Mian Saqib Nisar, HCJ and Umar Ata Bandial and Ijaz Ul Ahsan, JJ. issued directives to regulate media discussions in sub judice matters.

The present suo motu proceedings were initiated by the Supreme Court against one Arshad Sharif –  the anchor of show ‘Power Play’ aired on ARY News channel – wherein the panelists’ discussion pertained to inquiry of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against former President Asif Ali Zardari. The court issued a notice to Arshad Sharif seeking his explanation for the content of his show, whereupon he tendered an unconditional apology to the court.

Notice was also issued to the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) asking as to whether there existed any code of professional ethics for the media, whether the same was being followed and if not, what kind of action should be initiated against the delinquents. PBA submitted that a statutory code of conduct namely, Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 did exist; Clause 4(3) whereof prohibited airing of subjective commentary on sub-judice matters by media licensees. However, despite the same, sub-judice matters were being openly discussed in talk shows.

The Court observed that there was a need to strike balance between freedom of speech and right to fair trial. It noted the similarity between Indian law and Pakistan law regarding protection of the right to fair trial and protection from prejudicial comments with regards to sub judice matters as in both the countries, the freedom of speech was subject to reasonable restrictions. The judgment in Sahara India Real Estate Corpn. Ltd. v SEBI, (2012) 10 SCC 603 holding that excessive prejudicial publicity leading to usurpation of functions of the Court interferes with legal proceedings by encroaching upon the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, was also considered by the Court.

In view of the above, the Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure that the parameters laid down in the Code of Conduct are adhered to in letter and spirit and no violations thereof be tolerated. [Discussion in TV Talk Show with regard to a Sub-Judice Matter, In re,2018 SCC OnLine Pak SC 3, decided on 12-09-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Lok Pal Singh and Rajiv Sharma JJ., laid down a series of directions by disposing of the petition focusing on the needs of children with disabilities and stating that:

“Children with special needs should have equal opportunities”.

The petitioner had placed the list of children with special needs in the State of Uttarakhand in tabular form for which the Respondent filed the counter affidavit stating the steps taken to promote the special children’s education. The point of concern in this matter was that, the Respondents even after taking several steps were unable to take the steps in letter and spirit of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 along with the rules framed by the State of Uttarakhand, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

Therefore, the High Court on observing the inadequate step been taken by the respondents issued mandatory directions in light of giving access to free education in an appropriate environment to every child with disability also stressing upon the endeavor to be made to promote the integration of a child with disabilities in the normal schools. The following directives were issued:

  • Special Educators to be appointed in both Government aided and unaided private schools in State of Uttarakhand.
  • Schools to make premises barrier-free and suitable for free movement of children with special needs.
  • Special teacher’s training institutions in accordance with Section 29 of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
  • Sufficient funds to be released in order to impart education in ordinary schools or special schools.
  • Construction of a sufficient number of hostels.
  • All the necessities required including the books, uniforms, etc. To be provided to the children before the start of the academic session.
  • Scholarship of Rs 1,000/- per month each to be provided to children with special needs.
  • Curriculum to be prepared focusing on the difficulties that they face.
  • Amanuensis to be provided to the blind students in all the educational institutions throughout the State of Uttarakhand. [Kamal Gupta v. State of Uttarakhand,2018 SCC OnLine Utt 677, dated 11-07-2018]