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The Week Ahead Europe: EU to hear big tech's copyright concerns

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The Week Ahead Europe: EU to hear big tech's copyright concerns

The European Commission is chairing a meeting Oct. 15 for tech firms and publishers impacted by its controversial copyright reforms.

Officially approved in April, the updated rules give producers greater control over the use of their content online as well as fairer royalties for authors and performers. Member states have until 2021 to ratify and implement the so-called Copyright Directive into their national laws.

The rules have been the subject of fierce lobbying from tech companies, copyright holders and online privacy advocates.

Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC said in late September that it was changing the way it displays search engine results in France as the directive comes into effect. The company will no longer show snippets of news stories in its search results unless publishers make the content freely available — a move that drew the ire of EU policymakers.

French Digital Secretary Cédric O described Google's decision as "disrespectful of the spirit of the European directive and the French law."

Siada El Ramly, the director general of EDiMA, the trade association that represents the interests of big tech in Europe, is meeting with Vĕra Jourová, EU commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, the day after the stakeholders' gathering.

The trade body — whose members include Google, Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Snap Inc. and Microsoft Corp. — previously said the law was unfit for the digital age, claiming it will prevent consumers and creators from fully utilizing the benefits of online services in the fears of being censored.

Ramly has raised objections with two articles of the proposals that relate to remuneration for news publishers and holding companies liable for copyright-infringing content posted by their users.

Tech firms have said that they would have to employ automatic filters that could risk suppressing free expression.

The Oct. 15 meeting is the first in a series of talks announced in April as part of the EC's efforts to get all parties on the same page.


Oct. 14

A panel of experts will discuss the future of China's Huawei as part of a two-day event on the global challenges facing Europe.

Oct. 14-18

The European Week of Security in Nice, France, will include talks on surveillance and tech's impact on public safety.

Oct. 15

The European Commission will hold a stakeholder dialogue with tech firms and publishers on the application of the Copyright Directive.

Oct. 16

EU commissioner for justice, Vĕra Jourová, will meet with EDiMA, the trade association that represents big tech in Europe.

United Kingdom

Oct. 15

U.K. academics will meet with MPs on the Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living inquiry.

Oct. 16

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan MP will discuss the work of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which has previously published investigations into Facebook's mishandling of data.

Stories of note:

Netflix's crown grows heavy in the UK

Italy to impose 3% web tax on digital companies in 2020

Cellnex to acquire Arqiva's telecom unit for £2B

British Telecom reveals 5G rollout date, new unlimited plan

Tech companies, groups to intervene in Google's appeal against EC fine