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Self-publishing News: What Does The EU Copyright Directive Mean For You?

Self-publishing News: What does the EU Copyright Directive mean for you?

In this week's Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at what the new EU Copyright Directive means for indie authors.

Dan Holloway head and shoulders

ALLi's News Editor Dan Holloway

In this month’s self-publishing news podcast, Howard and I look in depth at what the partnership between Spotify and Storytel means for the future of reading and writing, and examine new platforms that allow authors to engage with readers more closely. And this comes as ALLi launches a book on podcasting for indie authors which you can read about and order here.

The EU's Copyright Directive (Article 17): What it means for you

You know how some films are advertised as “years in the making?” Well, this week’s lead story fits that bill. Article 17, the European Union’s Copyright Directive, has been fermenting so long it was originally Article 13 (and then 15). In that time, the article has been hugely controversial. It has been called the link tax and been accused of bringing about the end of internet freedom. But what does it actually say?

This week, we finally have official guidance on what the Copyright Directive will mean. Going into the full detail would require much more space than I have here. But I will give the headline details. I will focus on those that most affect us as indie authors but also as people who often host other people’s content on websites or podcasts. The purpose of the directive is given as:

The new rules will stimulate the creation and dissemination of more high-value content and allow for more digital uses in core areas of society, while safeguarding freedom of expression and other fundamental rights”

But here's what that actually means in practice. Bear in mind that this directive may be enacted differently in different nations over the coming years. In some areas it is deliberately vague and national legislation will clarify it.

Article 17 in bullet points

  • Content providers (that's platforms – including your blog if you have guest posts or use photos) should seek to obtain authorisation from rights holders for the materials they host.
    • This should be their “best effort.” It does not mean they must obtain authorisation.
    • These efforts should be proportionate to the means at a platform's disposal. That means you, as a website owner and sole trader, do not need to hire a team of lawyers to do due diligence. YouTube needs to be far more rigorous.
  • If you see your work somewhere and have not given permission, you can request for it to be taken down – and remain down.
  • There are exemptions for (a) quotation, criticism, review; and (b) use for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche.

Amazon: More Tax, More Lawsuits, More…Space?

Who’d have thought Jeff Bezos announcing plans to launch himself into space would take second place in the news to European copyright law? But here we are. It has been a very busy week for Amazon.

First there was the G7. The meeting of the G7 finance ministers had tech giants very firmly in their sites. Specifically, they had their eyes on tech companies’ tax liabilities. What they wanted was for the biggest companies to pay tax in the places where their revenue is created – not in their lower tax host countries. The deal reached seeks to avoid the practice of offshoring tax liability by creating a global minimum tax of 15%. In principle this will take away the incentive for companies like Amazon to register in low tax regimes – by removing those regimes. In practice…we’ll see.

Meanwhile, Amazon seems to be asking people to bring on the lawsuits. This comes, of course, as they face a growing number of antitrust actions. This move is not on the level of antitrust, but that of consumer protection. Under revised terms of service, consumers will no longer have to demonstrate they have exhausted Amazon’s arbitration before taking legal action.

Self-publishing at This Month's Online Fairs

This week the utterly different online edition of London Book Fair got underway. The event will sprawl its way across June. It has kicked off with news that will hardly help Amazon's week – that Findaway Voices has won Audiobook Publisher of the Year. And there will be things for indie authors towards the end of the month. But it's not the month's highlight.

Last year, the conference that made the first decisive move to go online was Bologna Children’s Book Fair. They are, of course, online again this year. But it is particularly encouraging that they are showcasing self-publishing. “How to self-publish in Italy” will be given a dedicated half day to itself next Wednesday. I’m delighted to see this conference take the lead yet again. And for the second (at least) year running, London could learn a useful lesson from them!

ALLi’s Podcast Recognized

One of the highlights of my month is getting to talk with Howard about the self-publishing news for the ALLi podcast. This, of course, is just one of the fabulous weekly podcasts ALLi puts on. And we are delighted to have had our podcast recognised for the value it provides by Welp in this fabulous list. This is perfect timing as ALLi has just launched a book on podcasting for indie authors, which you can find out all about here.

what the EU Copyright Directive means for you and other top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months.

Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) – Zoom meetings the 2nd Saturday of each month


JUNE 2021

Indie Author Week, 12-19 June
How to Self-publish in Italy, 16 June
American Libraries Association Annual Conference, 23-29 Jun


Comic Con, 22-25 Jul

Over to You

Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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