CDU Wants to Prevent Upload Filters

In the dispute over the EU copyright reform, the CDU had to take a lot of criticism. Now legal and digital experts have worked out a concept for the national implementation of the party – upload filters should be avoided.

The CDU wants to completely renounce the use of controversial upload filters in the national implementation of the European copyright reform. The right-wing and digital politicians of the party have come to an agreement on the initiative of Secretary General Paul Ziemiak.

Thus, the CDU wants to dispel fears that the use of upload filters threaten censorship or an end to the free Internet. There had also been sharp criticism from the younger generation, the Junge Union.

The reform proposed by the EU Commission in 2016 is supposed to adapt copyright to the Internet age. The controversial Article 13 envisages making commercial platforms such as YouTube more accountable for copyright. User uploaded material such as videos should be reviewed. This goes in the opinion of critics only about upload filters that check when uploading, whether images, videos or music are protected by copyright.

Mandatory lump sum license
The compromise that exists for the ARD Capital Studio provides that basically all content can be uploaded. Below a time limit uploads should be free of royalties. In addition, the respective platform for copyrighted works that have a digital fingerprint – a mark of the author – to acquire licenses. This would be the normal case, it was said in the CDU.

Alternatively, however, the rights holder could waive his rights or request the deletion. Incidentally, a legally binding blanket license applies. This means that every author has the opportunity to receive compensation for his work, was emphasized in the CDU.

The blanket licensing agreement for the national implementation of the European compromise eliminates the need for individual platforms to check for copyright infringement prior to an Article 13 upload. It also eliminates the need to filter the uploads – and the risk of blocking too much.

Private users should be exempted from liability
Private users should in any case be exempted from liability for copyright infringements during uploads. Thus there is a fair balance of interests between users, creators and platforms. Legally, the model of the lump sum license represents a barrier to copyright, it said in the party on.

Negotiators of the European Parliament and the EU states had agreed in mid-February on a legal text. Although the use of upload filters is not explicitly required, critics fear that platforms can only meet the requirements through these filters. The CDU, CSU and SPD reject the mandatory use of such filters in the coalition agreement as disproportionate, but the government agreed to the reform compromise at European level.

Prior to today’s Deutschlandtag of the Junge Union in Berlin, the chairman candidate Stefan Gruhner had criticized the Union leaders for their approval of the copyright reform. “The Union needs to rethink its position so that you do not run away from the electorate in the European elections,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. “Upload filters are the coffin nail for a digital Europe.”