ANext Wednesday, the future of copyright law in Germany will be decided. Because then the Federal Cabinet will decide on the “draft of a law to adapt copyright law to the requirements of the digital single market”. The Federal Ministry of Justice is in charge. The draft went back and forth between this, the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Chancellery. It will be worked on until the end.
This is mainly due to the preparation of the Ministry of Justice, which until now has been designed to water down the crucial articles of the European Copyright Directive, which must be implemented into national law by the summer, so that authors and publishers have very little of it, the business model the data corporations are not scratched and the anti-copyright lobby, which is on the way with the saga that copyright means “censorship” and “upload filters” put an end to the “free Internet”, does not strike again.
Everyone should have understood by now that there is nothing wrong with this spectacle. In the real world of the Internet, nothing is as free and certainly not as free as it seems. The corporations filter everything, they do what they want. They switch off the incumbent American President Donald Trump, the rulers in Iran and Venezuela remain on the air. The Russian oppositionist Aleksej Navalnyj recently pointed out this contradiction.
As far as the preparation of a new national copyright law is concerned, a lot stands and falls for authors and press publishers, if not everything with the so-called de minimis barrier or a presumption rule that stipulates that short texts and image advertisements are not subject to copyright. It is also crucial for the authors that they are not obliged to display their legally protected works, but that, conversely, the platforms and data groups actively take care of compensation for copyrights and have to conclude appropriate contracts. If free, commercial data mining is permitted, press publishers also fear that their electronic archives will suddenly be worthless.
These are the most important of the controversial points that led a regional publisher to lodge a supervisory complaint against the responsible head of department in the Ministry of Justice. The official, so the allegation, had violated his official obligations, namely the interests of the Federal Government in the proceedings on press performance protection law before the European Court of Justice in 2018 and in the current implementation of Articles 15 and 17 of the EU Copyright Directive. In particular, he is responsible for preventing and weakening an effective press performance protection right.
The complaint is dated to November last year. The Federal Ministry of Justice does not even want to confirm that the complaint has been made. The answer to this newspaper’s inquiry is: “We ask for your understanding that we generally do not provide any information on personnel matters. That also includes the question of whether there is a complaint against an employee of the BMJV. ”One could get the impression that the nerves in the house of Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) are on edge.