This is the core finding of my draft report for the European Parliament evaluating 2001’s copyright directive:

Although the directive was meant to adapt copyright to the digital age, in reality it is blocking the exchange of knowledge and culture across borders today. Tweet this!

Europe would benefit from a copyright that promotes creativity not just by locking up past creations, but by broadly encouraging future creation and unlocking a pan-European cultural market.

My report lays out the reform agenda for the overhaul of EU copyright announced in the Commission’s work programme. I’m presenting it to the Legal Affairs Committee tomorrow, Tuesday January 20 at around 11:00am CET (see draft agenda and live video stream).

I want your comments! Please read, rate, comment on and share my report below:

For a quick summary of the findings, check out the press release.
For a detailed explanation with examples and sources, please click here.

Because reports are subject to a strict character limit, I am submitting some further additions as amendments to my own report. See them here.


Since I was elected, I have received 86 meeting requests by lobbyists and interest groups related to copyright. Graphing the requests per week clearly shows the sharp increase when I was named rapporteur of this report on November 10, 2014:


I did my best to balance out the attention paid to various interest groups. Most requests came from publishers, distributors, collective rights organizations, service providers and intermediaries (57% altogether), while it was more difficult to get directly to the group most often referred to in public debate: The authors. The results of the copyright consultation with many authors’ responses demonstrate that the interests of collecting societies and individual authors can differ significantly.

Meetings requested
RightholdersAuthorsAuthoritiesService providersAcademiaUsers Meetings taken

I support Transparency International in recommending such a “legislative footprint” be routinely published by every rapporteur in the Parliament. See the full table of lobby meetings below:

What’s next

  1. Other Legal Affairs Committee members now have a month to submit amendments, which will be debated on Feb 23/24. On April 16, the Committee will vote on the report and its amendments.
  2. Three other committees will be giving their opinions on my report (Industry, Research and Energy; Internal Market and Consumer Protection; Culture and Education), which also takes the form of a list of suggested amendments.
  3. Finally, the full plenary of the Parliament will discuss, amend and pass the report. I expect the final vote to take place on May 20.

I will be covering all the incoming amendment proposals on this blog. Public support will be necessary to make sure the amendments strengthen, rather than water down the report.

For the Commission, VP Andrus Ansip will present his Digital Single Market strategy in May, and Commissioner Guenther Oettinger’s legislative proposal on copyright reform is expected for September this year. I expect them to take the report, as well as last year’s public consultation, into account – but I’ll need your help to make sure of it.

Please sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter or check back here for more information on how you can help to make sensible copyright reform a reality.

My name is Julia, I'm the Pirate in the European Parliament.

I'm fighting to make copyright in the EU unified, progressive and fit for the future. Will you join me?


  1. 1
    Harald Müller

    Libraries in Europe as represented by IFLA, EBLIDA, LIBER welcome your activities!

  2. 2
    Uriel Fanelli

    Well, I hope you will fix the issue. I’m an Italian living in Germany, and when I want to have my daughter to listen some italian – just to avoid she loses the native language – I got that… I can’t.

    I legally own the movie, but in German. So the movie is American. An american company, Netflix, had paid the rights bill. But, and this is ridicolous, I can’t watch in Germany a movie in italian, since the italian SIAE is the owner of rights, and not GEMA, so the result is: I buy from an american company, Netflix, the right to listen to a movie. Netflix already paid the rights to the american producer. But, to switch the language, I need to deal with the fact that two european “companies”, SIAE and GEMA, can’t find a way to see , the movie is legally available to me already. That’s bullshit.

    • exactly this. In fact, borders should be abolished in the media landscape. Everyone should be able to watch any payTV channel from any provider (I also count netflix among those) throughout the EU. Also right owners should get licenses paid in accordance with the number of subscribers they have and not based on the population of the country for which they provide the service.

      • Pantelis Botsas

        This is not only if you want to avoid losing the abilities of speaking a native language. This also affects people who really want to learn a language. Today I am forced to buy movies in Greece, Spain or Italy in order to watch them either in Greek, Spanish or Italian. This manifests the conservative Old-Brain-Borders in the European Union.

    • Fedor Patrzek

      This has nothing to do with GEMA or SIAE, as both companies only represent the music featured in that movie within their territories. The fact that you can’t listen to the Italian language track is based on Netflix either not willing (too expensive) or not capable (no access to the Italian track) of providing both language tracks in Germany. So don’t always blame it on the collecting societies.

      • Uriel Fanelli

        This is not true. And you immediately see it if you try to select any other Netflix supported country. I mean, is the same if i want to see the same movie in English, by example. I get answered it is available in Germany , only in German. The same is If I go on Microsoft Xbox movies: until I have selected a language, that’s it. It is not like this, guess why, when I buy a DVD: i can have all the languages there, BUT, (look!) there is the stamp “SIAE” on it, when I buy it in Italy. So stop pretending is not your fault, when the only multi-language contents I can use are the ones which paid your racket. And, another proof is, if I buy a DVD in Germany and go back to Italy with it, I can get a fine because there is no “SIAE” stamp on it, because then this is “piracy”. So don’t say this is not due to SIAE, to defend this mafia can only range from “ridiculous” to “pathetic”.

        • Fedor Patrzek

          This is just false ! The music collecting societies have absolutely nothing to do with the language tracks featured on either TV, DVD or Streaming. This would only then be an issue, if the music in for example the German language track would be different than the one featured in the Italian language track. On some very rare instances this might be the case, but in the vast majority of cases – especially if we are talking about US or UK TV-Series and/or films, the music remains always the same. Even technically it wouldn’t make much sense to replace the music for every territory. So again, the fact that you can’t listen to different language tracks on Netflix Germany (for example) has nothing to do with any music collection society.

          It just doesn’t make any economic sense for Netflix to acquire and encode the Italian language track for the handful of users that would like to watch a movie in Germany in Italian language. This might probably change when Netflix is finally launching in Italy, and Netflix will therefore have access to the Italian language tracks anyway.

          By the way, on Netflix in Germany you can of course also watch movies both in German as well as in English. So I don’t understand your point. Again, ask Netflix why they don’t feature the Italian track as well. I can tell you the only reason: additional costs with no revenue against it.

          And of course you can buy a German DVD and bring/play it in Italy. As much as I can buy an Italian DVD and bring it to Germany and so forth. This is not considered piracy and is a feature of our very nice European Union.

          So it’s not the fault of GEMA and/or SIAE – at least in this particular case.

          • Uriel Fanelli

            Again, seems you don’t want to get the point. MAybe you don’t want.

            Assuming I am allowed to travel the whole Europe, and assuming IF I bring a DVD with me I can listen at it in any country (until I purchased legally in my country), the point is I can purchase a movie in Italy, be in Germany, and then BEING UNABLE TO SEE IT, which meany I am still the owner, but UNABLE to do a legitimate use of something I own.

            Now, If even this example is not clear to you, I think it is impossible to talk, you are probably paid by someone to introduce straw man arguments and fallacies, and being honest, I am not here to spend time with people like you.

            Actually, what I want is to bring with me the contents I OWN, everywhere in Europe, which is NOT permitted now, by SIAE, GEMA &co. That’s it. If you can’t understand the idea of “people traveling”, or “freedom of move”, just exit europe and go living in some kind of URSS. Have a nice day.

  3. 3

    wie es scheint, bist du die einzige vertreterin meines kreuzes bei der letzten eu-wahl. drum muss ich dich unterstützen (gelernter architekt, heute künstler).
    dein explanatory statement liesst sich, besonders im letzten teil, sehr gut. ich werde die weitere entwicklung deiner agenda mit spannung verfolgen und, wenn ich kann, aktiv unterstützen. du findest mich unter meinem namen auf fb und skype.
    viel erfolg und alles gute.

  4. 4

    Thank you for your work Julia!

  5. 5
    Thomas Küppers

    Dear Julia,

    Thank you very much for your great work. It is really important for the EU that we receive a modern Copyright. Also I like your lobby transparency report!

    Best Regards

    Thomas Küppers

    Mitglied des Bundesvorstandes der Neuen Liberale

  6. 6

    hallo dank bin ich hier gelandet.
    Angenehm zu lesen. Das was früher eine Innovation absicherte wird heute mißbraucht um den Markt zu beherrschen. Da wird selbst vor jahrtausende alten Züchtungen wie indischem Reis nicht halt gemacht. Die indische Regierung mußte Millionen vor USA Gerichten investieren um Betrügern aus den USA das Handwerk zu legen.
    Ich bin nicht wirklich für schnellere Entwicklung verstellt sie doch eher den Blick für die Fülle die wir eh nur aus der Natur übernehmen und doch nicht schätzen. Allerdings ist es bedenklich wenn Firmen einem Patentanwärter schon im Vorab die Rechte nehmen indem sie Gerichtskosten hochtreiben und damit dem Neukommer damit alle Chancen nehmen können. Halt durch und bleib nüchtern!

  7. 7
    Serge Leblanc

    Mi entute subtenas viajn klopodojn! Gratulon.

  8. 8
    Ivo (Slovakia)

    I would start with removing any artificial borders for distribution of media. This way we can remove the main limiting factor as location_limitation, chosen_distributors, location_based_costs etc. This would lower cost for customer and as so decrease pirated content. Distributor in DE can compete to distributor in IT. For example let’s take Australia. Same language as USA, but still the movies/games cost a lot more then in USA. Using Internet, where are no real additional fees, just location based constrains, Aussies are forced to use VPNs and other means to get the content from USA in an affordable way. People are not stupid, so they try to get it from different source. Too high cost of legal way is a direct way to pirate way. I personally would tax any artificial limitations in license (for each country) so high, that except for some specific fields, it would be not used.

  9. 9

    Ich schätze es sehr sehr hoch, dass Du Deine Arbeit und die Anfragen der Lobbygruppen transparent machst. Das ist ein neuer Politikstil, der mir sehr gefällt. Vielleicht sogar die einzig mögliche Zukunft für die Demokratie in einer Zeit, wo politische Intransparenz (TTIP) und Verdrossenheit (Pegida) zunehmen.

  10. 10

    Thank you for your great work. I hope all politician would be as transparent as you.

    Regarding the right holder topic I fully agree with you.


  11. 11
    Lore Schultz-Wild

    Insbesondere auch für die Gedanken an eine dringend nötige Querverbindung zum Urhebervertragsrecht!

  12. 12

    Keep fighting! Hope your voice will be heard, ours hasn’t been until now!

  13. 13

    Thank you for your work,
    this would be a great improvement for Europe innovation :D

  14. 14
    Joe Thorpe

    Just use Hola or Expat Shield I use them all the time travelling from countries as close as Ireland to when I’m in Australia. If you download Sky or Iplayer to your machine before you travel you can also watch when you get there, just use Chromecast & beam to your TV from your laptop. People should stop making mountains out of mole hills. Lets face it how many people actually want to watch TV from another country? I can’t remember ever watching a German, French, Italian or Spanish TV channel even from my satellite let alone from my tablet or lap top & as it happens my Netflix works fine wherever I am so I dont understand the netflix issues?

  15. 15

    Just a small word from France to thank you for your work and transparency. Lot’s of politicians should take notes.

  16. 16

    Bin sehr beeindruckt von der Transparenz auf Deiner Webseite – auch von der Auflistung der Lobby-Treffen, die als Arbeitsnachweis zeigen, dass Du Dich allen Anfragen und Problemen stellst.

  17. 17

    tu as “frapper un grand coup” !
    SURTOUT : résisiste face aux Lobbys des “Ayant-Droits”
    “allez Julia : on est TOUS derrière toi —> COURAGE” !!!
    et, démontres-nous “..qu’il FAUT voter aux Européennes” !

    VIELE GLÜCK !!!!!

  18. 18

    Yes, please.
    Movie & Music Streaming services in Germany are lacking way behind the US market in case of availability.

  19. 19

    Please avoid PDFs. A plain HTML page is way better then this format designed to print on A4 sheets of paper.

    Can you publish your report in a more human friendly format?

  20. 20

    Thank you for this! I just read about it on techdirt and it’s the most sane proposal I could ever have hoped for.

  21. 21


    Just stopping by from the Techdirt article, to say how well thought out , and well reasoned these proposals are.

    I hope we get a chance to invoke them before the hideous TTIP , and the fast track TPA authorization in the U.S.A gets brought to our legislature.

    Thanks again for taking the time, and expending the effort to attempt to balance out the art, culture, and commerce issues addressed here

  22. 22
    Pantelis Botsas

    Just to emphasize the dilemma that blocks us from getting well informed, what is going on in other european countries: Have you tried to get the TV Spots from the parties that are available for voting in the coming election for the greek parliament? In Germany you get an notice that these spots are not available in this country because this bloated system of GEMA has not collected enough money. Is there any way to tell them, that these videos are important for political information? It’s annoying, telling every cititzen that he is able to work everywhere he likes in the European Union, but preventing him to get informed what happens in other countries. I can not trust der German Television after I watched several documentaries that have been translated intensionally wrong.

  23. 23

    Unter dem Titel “Kopernikanische Wende in der EU-Urheberrechtsdebatte? Die Politik in Deutschland sollte das nutzen” ein Kommentar bei zu Julias Vorlage vom 14.1.2015 für das Committee on Legal Affairs des Europäischen Parlaments:

  24. 24

    Thank you for your work and youy transparency report !

    A Pirate from France

What do you think?