Freelance writers regulation sparks controversy
by Arthur Graaff
18 September 2001
This week German bookstores have a very special offer: one empty book on one empty shelf.
That was their way of demonstrating what
will happen if the new German copyright law, regulating payment to freelances for republication of their work, comes into force.
Since January, the German publishers of papers, magazines, books, radio and tv and websites have intensified their campaign against the concept law.
The conflict is concentrating on republishing on the web and usage in databases.
Also yesterday, at their annual meeting in Berlin, the newspaper publishers repeated their stance vigorously. Nevertheless, a European payment standard is emerging of between 10 and 30% for electronic re-usage.
The new law is meant to bring the country into line with European regulations.
The German cabinet has approved it last week and sent it on to the parliament, the Bundestag.
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