Industry News

European Press Publishers Celebrate World Intellectual Property Day

By Jess Browne-Swinburne

27 Apr 2021

European press publishers welcome the focus of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day on small businesses. The diversity and pluralism of the press in Europe has been historically built and relies on small and medium-sized publishers.

During the last year of the coronavirus pandemic, Europeans more than ever in the past have given their trust on the digital offerings of newspaper and magazine publishers. Intellectual property rights, including authors‘ rights and the neighbouring right for press publishers, are the fundamental foundation for this increased trend. They are essential to ensure the future sustainability of the publishing business digitally and in print and its foundational role for press diversity and pluralism.

The adoption of the press publishers’ neighbouring right in the Copyright Directive was an historic step forward that still has to be implemented in most of the EU Member States.

Therefore, on World Intellectual Property Day, EMMA and ENPA, together with their members, newspaper, and magazine publishers of all sizes across Europe, are calling on EU Member States to promptly transpose the press publishers right, as the deadline for its transposition in national law expires on 7 June 2021.

A swift implementation of a strong and effective publishers’ right is an essential precondition to level the playing field in the digital markets. In addition, with the Digital Markets Act the EU has the historic chance to tackle the abusive practices of the gatekeepers, such as for instance their refusal to pay for the press publishers right, as well as set a global benchmark by obliging them to provide fair and non-discriminatory access to their services for all and add a binding mechanism forcing them to negotiate fair pricing conditions.

Ilias Konteas, Executive Director of EMMA and ENPA said: «More than ever, European press needs today a strong and effective publishers’ right to be implemented in all Member States within the deadline foreseen in the Copyright Directive. It is now high time for gatekeepers to finally pay for their use of the publishers’ content. This is why, we call for significant improvements in the Digital Markets Act to end the abusive practices of all gatekeepers.

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