Corporate Europe Observatory (2018)
|Corporate Europe Observatory (2018)|
|Title:||Copyright Directive: how competing big business lobbies drowned out critical voices|
|Author(s):||Corporate Europe Observatory|
|Citation:||Corporate Europe Observatory (2018) Copyright Directive: how competing big business lobbies drowned out critical voices. Available via: https://corporateeurope.org/en/2018/12/copyright-directive-how-competing-big-business-lobbies-drowned-out-critical-voices (last accessed: 7 June 2019)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study summarises the frequency of lobby meetings in the EU concerning subject-matter “copyright” from several sources, including IntegrityWatch, declarations from UK Conservative MEPs and Green MEPs.
TK sources: example URL
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
"The European Union is trying to make its copyright rules fit for the digital age - but the negotiations about the EU Commission's proposal for reforming the EU Copyright Directive are proving difficult: there is still no agreement on controversial key articles, which could have significant consequences for freedom of expression and the way we interact online. (…) This lobby battle over copyright is one key example of how aggressive lobbying by competing industries often crowds out other voices and successfully distorts the public debate. Confusion reigned throughout about who was lobbying and for what, once again highlighting the urgent need to reform lobby transparency rules which are not working properly.”
Main Results of the Study
The study finds weaknesses in the current EU lobby transparency rules, lacking accountability and transparency. Of the information available, the study finds:
• Since November 2014 there have been 765 declared encounters between lobbyists and the Commission concerning copyright. Over 93% of these lobbyists represented corporate interests (collecting societies, creative industries), with only one NGO present on the list of the 20 most frequent lobbyists. Otherwise, the most frequently listed lobbyists include: IFPI (27 meetings), Federation of European Publishers (27) and GESAV (25).
• Other sources of data from political parties also suggest that most lobbyists are collecting societies and publishers. UK Conservative MEPs most frequently met with IFPI, British Recorded Music Industry, PRS, European Media Magazine Association and Axel Springer. Green MEPs meet with smaller organisations and NGOs, though still feature 8 collecting societies and publishers on their list of 20 most frequent lobbyists.
• Despite the emphasis placed on the lobbying efforts of big tech during the Copyright Directive debates, only two big tech names appear on the list of most frequent lobbyists: Google ranks 7th, and Digital Europe 18th. Google in particular held only 22 meetings with the EU Commission on copyright (not including representations by trade bodies to which they are party, including CCIA and EdiMA) Instead, other actors across all lists are more consistent - ZDF and ARD (German public-service broadcasters) and publisher Axel Springer.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study suggests several reforms to current EU lobby regulation, including a mandatory lobby register which discloses sources and amounts of income dedicated by parties to specific policy issues. Penalties should be introduced for non-compliance, and MEPs should not meet with unregistered lobbyists.