AFS Statement on the adoption of the Copyright Directive by the European Parliament

[Brussels, 26 March] Allied for Startups regrets the outcome of today’s vote in the European Parliament. Startups, together with Europe’s wider innovative communities, have gotten short shrift from established political groups. The directive means extended uncertainty for Europe’s entrepreneurs and investors. “While Members States will struggle to implement and armies of lawyers will fight in courts over a messy and gutted text – innovative ideas will be put on ice or realised elsewhere. Intentions aside, the directive is the contrary of proportional, evidence based, or anywhere good policy-making.” Lenard Koschwitz, Senior Director for Policy, said.

Besides the most-debated elements of the directive, we welcome the compromises reached on Text and Data Mining. It shows that it is possible to protect commercial interests without harming technology and innovation made in Europe. We thank all policy makers and those invested in a future looking debate for artificial intelligence made in Europe.

Regardless of the outcome of this vote, Allied for Startups regrets a stubborn and factually poor way of policy making. “Not only has the process consistently dismissed academic evidence and lessons from similar laws, a shocking number of seasoned policy makers and elected representatives have struggled to hold up a respectful and inclusive debate,” Koschwitz added.

It is saddening how many of the younger generation have been politicised and frustrated by the European Union at the same time. This should be an alarming sign for all of us and will undoubtedly have an impact on the European elections and the way the EU adopts policies.

Lenard Koschwitz commented: “Innovation will continue to change the way we interact, express and inform ourselves. The more decision makers know about the internet and technology, the better they will be able to design laws that protect our values and preferences”. Moreover: “Our mission is to bring entrepreneurs and policy makers together to discuss policies. We should strive to have more debates in the future to speak and listen to each other.”  

At Startup Europe Summit (20-21 March 2019), Allied for Startups published 11 concrete and actionable policy recommendations. These are addressed to European leaders, elected representatives and policymakers and raise elements around evidence-based policy-making and to establish fora to interact with European founders and entrepreneurs.  

While we believe that concerns outweigh the benefits of this reform, we want to thank the teams within Presidencies, Council, Parliament and Commission who worked hard to strike a balance in this challenging file.

Please find the PDF version of the letter here.

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