4.5 million jobs are created by the startup sector. This sector is under threat from the Copyright Directive. How can we improve and adapt European copyright law to match the development of new technologies? Here is what the European startup community has to say.

Text and Data Mining is a must 

Europe today is the second largest region for data analytics and is expected to grow further. Article 3’s current wording effectively excludes startups - from developing artificial intelligence applications such as image and voice recognition systems or self autonomous vehicles - from discovering new insights, patterns and trends from complex data. This means: legal uncertainty, no more university spin-offs, unrealistic partnerships.

Forget about ancillary copyright in news snippets

Startup communities in Madrid & Berlin shared their experiences with the failure of their national laws: neighbouring rights didn’t help publishers, it hurt the startup ecosystem and the economy at large. It means: reduced media diversity, corrosive effect on the evolution of new services, incompatibility with international copyright law, barriers to entry for startups.

Protecting IP doesn't mean preventing innovation 

Having to enter into agreements with rightsholders and filter user uploaded content creates additional burden, however it does nothing to provide fairness, proportionality and legal certainty. This means: disproportionate legal risk, costs, disproportionate technical problems, burden of reporting and proportionality of content recognition.

Protect innovation with an innovation exception, not an SME exemption

A copyright exemption for startups won’t work – it will just create a new glass ceiling for startups. An innovation exception would allow EU startups to flourish without reopening a legislative debate each time.

Good policy means conditions where entrepreneurs in Europe can thrive! 

Startups strive to achieve this and they need the European Parliament as a partner to make this a reality. The Scale-Up Manifesto and the European Startup-Scaleup Initiative have set the scene for Europe to become a champion of the global data economy. 

Now they need to be seconded by adequate and appropriate legislation. Together with startup communities, civil society and private sector, the European Union needs to walk the talk. 

To ensure that the interests of startups remain strong, Allied for Startups and 14 member associations and startups, such as European Startup Network, AustrianStartups, France Digitale and many others will speak to policy makers regarding the ongoing negotiations on the EU Copyright directive at the Annual Policy Summit 2017 on October 18th in Brussels.

If you, as we do, believe there is a middle way to protect intellectual property without harming innovation, we’d like to discuss TDM, intermediary liability and ancillary rights with you. Because we truly believe that good things happen when entrepreneurs speak to policy makers and want startups to have a seat at the table. The summit on October 18th will be by invitation only so let us know why you should attend!

By Allied for Startups and 14 member associations and startups