Econ­omy Min­is­ter on copy­right laws

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

Econ­omy Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona yes­ter­day pre­sented the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment com­mit­tee on le­gal af­fairs, also known as JURI, his min­istry’s pro­grammes for the up­com­ing six months while Malta has the EU Coun­cil pres­i­dency.

Min­is­ter Car­dona said that the Pres­i­dency will be fo­cus­ing on the dig­i­tal mar­ket agenda, stress­ing the im­por­tance of “porta­bil­ity”. He is con­fi­dent of a bal­anced first read­ing agree­ment to be achieved in the up­com­ing six months.

He said that once the court con­cludes its de­ci­sion on the com­pe­tence of the Mar­rakesh treaty, he hopes to rat­ify and con­clude be­fore the end of the pres­i­dency. The Mar­rakesh treaty deals with copy­right laws and in­fringe­ment.

Dr Car­dona spoke of seek­ing to es­tab­lish the right bal­ance of free flow­ing in­for­ma­tion, pre­serv­ing cul­ture and lib­erty while also pro­tect­ing the owner of con­tent.

Dr Car­dona was go­ing to move on to coun­try-by-coun­try re­port­ing, but de­cided to “stop there”.

He said that the Pres­i­dency will be look­ing at how to boost SMEs and make them more com­pet­i­tive, and also spoke of de­vel­op­ing reg­u­la­tions that are not overly bur­den­some but also con­trib­ute to­wards trans­parency and fair­ness.

“Iden­ti­fy­ing reg­u­la­tory bar­ri­ers is key to com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, there­fore our reg­u­la­tions must be made fu­ture proof and friendly to in­no­va­tion,” he said.

Lo­cal MEP Therese Co­mo­dini Cachia asked Min­is­ter Car­dona to in­di­cate what is­sues from the Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal on copy­right laws are giv­ing rise to the most con­tro­versy at Coun­cil level.

In re­sponse, Dr Car­dona said: “The Coun­cil has started and will con­tinue as a mat­ter of pri­or­ity un­der the Mal­tese pres­i­dency the ex­am­i­na­tion of the two Com­mis­sion pro­pos­als on copy­right leg­is­la­tion frame­work. Our main ob­jec­tive as Coun­cil is to strike the right bal­ance of free flow of in­for­ma­tion of cul­tural her­itage and de­fend­ing the rights of con­tent hold­ers.”

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