Digital reform must be giant leap forward

Marietje

Today the European Commission revealed its proposals for the revision of the European telecom and copyright frameworks. The review of both is crucial to create a true Digital Single Market in Europe, which prepares Europe for the roll-out of the internet of things, self-driving cars and new ways to consume music and news. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66): “The telecoms proposal provides some good starting points for discussion, but the copyright proposal are seriously problematic.”

Telecom proposals are mixed bag

Schaake calls the proposals to revise the telecom proposals a ‘mixed bag’: “Internet access is vital, so it makes sense for national governments to help guarantee internet access for all, especially when rural areas cannot expect much from the private sector.”

“The ultimate goal of any EU-intervention in the telecoms sector should be to promote competition in order to have improved access to better networks at the lowest possible price. However, this does not mean giving a free pass to network owners to kill competition from innovative online competitors such as Skype or Whatsapp.”

“It also remains to be seen whether bringing internet companies under the gambit of national telecom regulators will improve in practice the privacy and security of their users.”

Copyright proposals are not what EU needs

Schaake is not happy with the current copyright proposal. “It lacks ambition and instead reads like a defence of old business models. We need a real copyright revolution instead. Publishers might have legitimate concerns about their decreasing revenues, but a retrograde reform of copyright law is not the solution.”

No new copyright for news sites

Schaake has joined forces with other MEPs across party lines to reject the European Commission's proposal for a new extra copyright for European news websites. Schaake warned: "This plan would break the internet as we know it. The way people share news online today – by posting a link that includes a short snippet or image from the article – would be made illegal unless a licence had been previously agreed."