EU’s Digital ‘Wild West’ Video Draws Jibes Over Copyright Issues
(Bloomberg) -- A senior European Union official posted a cowboy-themed video promoting the bloc’s proposal to regulate online content, but the parody drew questions about whether its use of a Hollywood film clip contradicted its own copyright rules.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market chief, posted a nearly 30-second modified clip from Clint Eastwood’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” to jokingly say “there’s a new sheriff in town” with the EU’s Digital Services Act. The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the measure Wednesday.
The video drew some praise, but also prompted Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of the think tank European Centre for International Political Economy, to question if the use of the spaghetti Western clip violated the filmmaker’s intellectual property.
Breton’s spokesman, Terence Zakka, countered that the tweet doesn’t violate copyright because it is parody, “hence falling under copyright exceptions.” The EU’s copyright rules, which were due to be implemented by EU member nations last year, allow for criticism, caricature and parody, although the scope isn’t always clear.
“This means that memes and similar parody creations can be used freely,” the European Commission wrote in a posting. “The interests of the users are also preserved through effective mechanisms to swiftly contest any unjustified removal of their content by the platforms.”
The tweet was cleared by the commission’s office that handles copyright issues, according to an EU official.
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