NMA Calls On UK Government To Adopt Publisher’s Right

News Media Association chairman David Dinsmore has welcomed the European Parliament’s vote to adopt the EU Copyright Directive this week, dismissing claims that the measures will damage the free internet as “wildly overblown scaremongering.”

The industry is now calling on the UK Government to adopt the measures, which have been backed by the creative sector including publishers, musicians, authors and film producers across Europe, into UK law as soon as possible.

NMA chairman Mr Dinsmore said: “The European Parliament’s vote to adopt the EU Copyright Directive is a positive step forward for content creators across Europe.

“Claims about the damage this would supposedly inflict on the internet are wildly overblown and amount to nothing more than scaremongering, with the cynical aim of protecting the ability of others to profit from our content while contributing next to nothing back to those who create it. 

“It is vitally important there is investment into professional journalism so that accurate and authoritative information continues to be available. 

“After approval by the European Council in April, the UK Government must look to implement the measures into UK law as soon as possible so we can seek to redress the balance.”   

NMA vice chairman Henry Faure Walker said: “The new measures strike the right balance between preserving public access to information and allowing publishers to assert their rightful ownership of their content – a vital revenue stream for the producers of news media journalism.  They will contribute to a sustainable news media sector, which is a critical component of democracy.

“We welcome the European Parliament’s forward thinking and their decisive vote, and urge the UK Government to act promptly and decisively to implement the new measures.” 

Fernando de Yarza Lopez Madrazo, News Media Europe president, said: “This directive will help forge a healthier working relationship between creators and platforms and will help news publishers continue to invest in the creation of fact-checked, professional content to enrich the internet and benefit consumers.”

As well as lobbying for a strong Publisher’s Right for UK publishers alongside other press organisations such as NME, the NMA is seeking clarity over how the Copyright Directive will be implemented into domestic law as the Brexit process continues.

The Directive contains a 24-month transposition period, commencing on its entry into the EU Official Journal. How it is implemented into UK law will therefore depend on the date and nature of the UK’s departure from the EU. 

The BEIS guidance note on ‘Copyright if there’s no Brexit deal’ [24 September 2018] makes clear that: “The EU Directives and Regulations on copyright and related rights will be preserved in UK law as retained EU law under the powers in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018.”  

The IPO says that if the UK does implement this measure, “any changes will need to be subject to a full and thorough consultation and robust impact assessment. The Government will work with interested individuals and businesses to ensure these proposals are implemented in a way which works for the British economy and which strikes an appropriate balance between the interests of the affected parties.”

Alternatively, the Government would consider the question of introducing a press publisher’s right outside the scope of the implementation of the Copyright Directive. Any new legislation would be subject to usual legislative processes, including public consultations and full impact assessment.