Publicat în 1 iulie 2015, 15:42 / 359 elite & idei

Alexandru Giboi: News Agencies in the 21st Century — Respecting Copyright is Key to Media Evolution

Alexandru Giboi: News Agencies in the 21st Century — Respecting Copyright is Key to Media Evolution

National News Agency AGERPRES organized on Friday, June 26, in Bucharest the international conference titled „News Agencies in the 21st Century — Respecting Copyright is Key to Media Evolution.” The conference marked the 20th anniversary of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies — Southeast Europe ABNA-SE.

„We fight against piracy on the net, which is very maneuverable, and we fight it with the old method of reading what they do. It’s more like fighting laser-guided smart bombs with wooden shields from the Middle Age,” said Uffe Riis Sorensen.

He also referred to news aggregators like the Norway-based Meltwater, that take over content from news agencies and then sell it. „Now, a parasite doesn’t need have to be very dangerous, many of us live with them, but parasites can grow so big that they would suck out all the blood of the host and then the host will die. And what becomes of the parasite?” the NAWC representative questioned.

According to him, although the European Commission intends to impose consistent regulation on copyright or marketing, because there are differences among the relevant law regimes across the EU or in the world, things are not easy to set in practice.

„Within the next six months, the European Commission has promised to make proposals to reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow for wider online access to works by users across the EU. Right now you can see the problem, they want to protect our copyright, but they want to make it easier for everybody to read what we have, across the borders. They want to make a greater legal certainty for the cross-border use of content, for specific purposes like research, education, text and data mining. That’s good. (…) But I’m afraid it’s not that simple,” said Sorensen.

He also spoke about the strategy of the single digital market European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants to set in place, questioning how would everyone gain access to everything if there is no possibility to protect the content.

„Before we see how the Commission will combine every user’s access to all kinds of news on all kinds of platforms with a fair copyright directive, I still believe that the protection we have under the older marketing laws is much more effective. You are not allowed to use another company’s product as your own. Full stop,” Sorensen made his case.

The NAWC representative said that news agencies need to make adequate lobbying with the European Commission, as European politicians still don’t understand how difficult the work of the old operators who produce unbiased and trustworthy news is.

„The strategy paper (on the single digital market — Ed. Note) is an ambitious plan for making Europe a leading force in the digital industry, by making it easier for new operators on the scene, but as I see it, we, the old operators that produce unbiased, reliable and trustworthy news in the service of democracy, have a lot of work and lobbying to do to make the Commission and the European politicians understand that the prerequisite for all these splendid plans is fair-play for the producers of news and knowledge. And that’s us, that is hard work [the politicians] do not understand, really, not yet. (…) Juncker’s priority, as I see it, is the free market, free flow, free access on all platforms, and then eventually, he puts in a little on copyright, but that’s the smallest part of it,” Sorensen also said.

The copyright conference organized by AGERPRES was also attended by Romanian Minister of Culture Ioan Vulpescu, chairman of the Senate Committee on culture and media Georgica Severin, News Director for Central and Eastern Europe — Associated Press Fisnik Abrashi, journalism and media programmes director with Thomson Reuters Foundation Timothy Large, Directors of news agencies CTK (Czech Republic), BTA (Bulgaria), CNA (Cyprus), TANJUG (Serbia), TASR (Slovakia), MIA (Macedonia), FENA and SRNA (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Also participating in the event were Secretary General of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) Erik Nylen, as well as representatives of news agencies ANADOLU (Turkey), ANA-MPA (Greece), ATA (Albania), dpa (Germany) and AzerTac (Azerbaijan). AGERPRES

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