Posts Tagged ‘Cliff Richard’

Remember the Cliff Richard directive proposal for a copyright extention of sound recordings also known as 2008/0157(COD)? The extention was fiercely debated in the European Parliament and by consumer groups. Our MEPs adopted a plenary report and then… Then our EU-Council with all the member states at the table went into wait-and-see mode. They noticed that the Commission proposition was quite a bit over the top. Meanwhile we have a new parliament, the Lisbon Treaty regime, a new Council. Now it’s back on the agenda, just before the children born when the Commission started to draft its proposal enter school, rumours say Hungary suddenly changed its mind in the Council, we learn from an alarmist Boingboing call to action, that we, the people are asked by science fiction writer Cory Doctorow to

1. Phone our MEP

2. MEP does for us ???

3. Win!

What can be done by your MEP?

In some member states it is common that pending laws get scrapped after the an electoral vote of new representatives, not so in the EU. Engström, an MEP from Sweden (who was elected as a challenger of the current copyright rules) is going to invoke Rule 59 of the European Parliament to get a “renewed referral”, so Parliament can again have its say on the proposal. From a power balance perspective it is a smart thing to do for the European Parliament, because it gains them more weight in the process and does not prejudice a decision.

40 supporting MEPs across the aisle are required to request a Rule 59 plenary motion.

Request for
to Parliament

pursuant to Rule 59 of the Rules of Procedure

of the proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL DIRECTIVE amending Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the term of protection of copyright and related rights (COM(2008)0464 – C6-0281/2008 – 2008/0157(COD)).

MEPs are well advised to support the motion. Some arguments

  • The “renewed referral” motion would make Cliff Richard, Mick Jagger visit the European Parliament (=you) once again.
  • Citizens from your electorate believe they still like their music and their visit to the Europarl will excite them about the spirit of European integration and ultimately…
  • your support contributes to the completion of the single market and to reaping the full benefit of the Lisbon strategy objectives.

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The European Council seeks a backroom deal with the European Parliament on the controversial copyright extension plans. A meeting is scheduled at the April 29.

Attachés will examine the possibility of a first reading agreement with the European Parliament on the Term Directive (8898/09). The meeting will take place in Presidency Room No 1, floor 50. N.B. Participation is limited to Attachés only

The short phrase “Term Directive (8898/09)” stands for the very controversial

Term of protection of copyright and related rights (amending Directive 2006/116/EC) (Directive) 2008/0157 COD 24/07/2008, 12217/08 COM(2008) 464.

Of course no one ever used the phrase “term directive” before. In the European Parliament:

Parl. Ctee: JURI – LEHNE, Klaus-Heiner
Rapp.: Brian CROWLEY (UEN-IE)

A document adopted in Parliament one year ago and then put to coma was registered at the Council under the document number 8898/09. For more obfuscation the document is available only in French from the Council register:

Proposition de directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil modifiant la directive 2006/116/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil relative à la durée de protection du droit d’auteur et de certains droits voisins – Résultats de la première lecture du Parlement européen (Strasbourg, du 21 au 24 avril 2009) PDF 30-04-2009

Why the clandestine approach on the Council side? Why don’t they reference the correct dossier name and procedure? I assume you may find the answer in the delicate substance of the proposal. I remember I met an economist in Parliament who tried to get the results of his research to the attention of MEPs, and basically saw the dossier as a great scam.

The dossier became widely known informally as the “Cliff Richard pension fund” because it was promoted by aging UK rock musicians, a kind of special gift to the music industry by the outgoing Commissioner. I haven’t monitored the dossier any further. In any case, outrageous policy making.

Here the OEIL file on COD/2008/0157, Prelex interinstitutional overview,

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