In July, the European Parliament adopted the ‘Reda report’ on copyright. Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s report focuses on the functionality of the current Infosoc Directive, and is broadly seen as a bellwether for the coming copyright legislation. But it is also seen as a potential threat to authors and artists, who will see their creations turn into merchandise.
The recent articles about the Reda Report have focused a lot on the so-called ‘Freedom of panorama.” This is just the tip of the iceberg and if you read even further between the lines, you will realize that there is a change of status for cultural creation, which is downgraded to a simple merchandise.
The freedom of panorama only reveals how the Reda Report is controversial, even among the MEPs working on the topic. The plenary session decided to remove the proposal that would “restrict the freedom of panorama,” despite efforts from French MEP Jean-Marie Cavada from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, who insisted that the commercial use of pictures of public buildings and sculptures should require authorization from the rights-holders (architects or designers). So the MEPs decided to keep the status quo – thereby allowing countries to decide for themselves whether or not they would allow freedom of panorama.
The need for a reform at a European level is therefore questionable, since the exceptions are numerous. The report was amended over 550 times and seemed to lose a little more of its substance with each amendment.
Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is due to present his proposal before the end of this year and yet the task seems almost impossible, considering how the Reda Report has blurred the lines even more. The Parliament also rejected the attempt “to pave the way for an ancillary copyright for press publishers, also known as the ‘Google tax’. “Virtually all the value generated by creative works is transferred to digital intermediaries, which refuse to pay authors or negotiate extremely low levels of remuneration.” according to Cavada. Based on Julia Reda’s view, it is just merchandise and should be treated as such.
“The problem with ancillary copyright rules is that they create a business climate that favors incumbent companies in both press publishing and the digital economy – as only the biggest players have the infrastructure to deal with such rules,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, Director of the Computer and Communications Industry Association of Europe.
But the so-called collecting agencies have largely disagreed. Cécile Despringre, executive director of the SAA (Society of Audiovisual Authors), described the report as “user-focused,” even though it calls for “measures to ensure fair and appropriate remuneration for all categories of right-holders, including with regard to digital distribution of their works, and improve the contractual position of authors and performers in relation to other right-holders and intermediaries.”
It has been a constant problem since Reda was appointed as rapporteur for this reform, the Pirate Party she comes from only sees copyright as an enemy.
“We know this resolution has had a long and difficult path to adoption, but every side seems to defend the importance of authors receiving fair remuneration but fails to put forward any concrete proposals to correct current failings,” argued Despringre.
There was also really last-ditch effort by Mary Honeyball (labour MEP) to create “an unwaivable right to remuneration subject to collective management,” for performers for downloads and streaming services, which was also struck down, much to the chagrin of the Fair Internet campaign, made up of organizations, such as the International Federation of Actors and the International Federation of Musicians.
“Performers are still not fairly rewarded when their performances are exploited via legal online on-demand services. Most of them receive an all-inclusive fee at the time of the recording for all type of exploitation of their performances. Others receive an insufficient proportional remuneration,” according to Fair Internet, revealing that it represents more than 500,000 individuals through its 35 Europe-based collective management organizations.
Jean Claude Juncker, President of the Commission must now be haunted by his choice to appoint Reda rapporteur of this crucial reform. But the future could be even more surprising.
The report also calls on the European Commission to look at the possibility of providing an exception for libraries to lend works in digital format and for scientists to mine text and data.
Now the serious lobbying on Reda’s Report is about to start. Her report was supposed to be a first step, but we know that each proposition will be fought before it becomes law. Artists and authors across Europe hope for the best and for their creations not to be turned into merchandise. They are now asking for more clarity and protection by lawmakers.
“The report is the beginning of an ongoing debate signalling to the European Commission which aspects of substantive copyright law merit reform,” said Kucharczyk. In the coming months, we will see if the Reda Report will really influence Europe’s future culture, or whether the report will end up in the paper shredder…let’s hope for the latter!
Seasif’s Franco Favilla discusses the post-Covid economy and the price of gold
Although the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, there has been much discussion on the idea of a “post-Covid” economy, especially with the beginning of vaccination efforts in some countries. With markets throughout the world suffering the economic effects of the virus, experts have been looking towards the future –– and one of the topics that often comes up is the price of gold.
In August, the price of gold exceeded US$ 2,000 an ounce for the first time, driven by multiple factors. However, in November, advancements in Covid-19 vaccines led to a decrease in this trend, a result of the turbulent period we are going through.
“Regardless of the market volatility and the price changes that could occur over a given period of time, the fundamental fact is that the price of gold over the course of 2020 has reached an all-time high, and this, in my opinion, is very good news for the world economy,” explains Franco Favilla, founder and CEO of Seasif, a multinational company active in the extraction and trading of gold and oil.
According to Mr. Favilla, the main problem of the pre-Covid economy was the completely arbitrary nature of international finance. At one time, a ton of gold corresponded to a ton of currency, but since the 1980s, and at an impressive rate since 2000, the gap has widened enormously, so much so that today the relationship between the world’s currencies and gold is enormously unbalanced.
Total gold reserves around the world cover only 30% of currencies. This means there is nothing to cover and guarantee the value of money. In short, money has turned into a pure convention, a pure agreement between parties acting outside the market. Gold, on the contrary, guarantees democracy, because it protects savers and the market, offering an objective value for parameterizing every transaction.
“My hope, therefore, is that the crisis caused by Covid-19 will help to change finance, making it less ‘phantom’ and more linked to an objective dimension, based on gold, with obvious advantages for the real economy. Gold protects consumers, the most important component in any economic system: if you don’t have a market made up of consumers with a certain level of wealth, how can you sell? To whom? Consumer protection must come first, and gold is one of the main ways of protecting them,” states the CEO of Seasif.
Sustainability has also been at the forefront in discussions about the post-Covid world, as countries look towards establishing a more resilient global economy, one able to better withstand such events in the future –– and “green gold” may well be a part of that future. Green gold, in a sense, can be considered the “gold of the future” due to its ethical and sustainable extraction process. Seasif produces green gold, with a department entirely dedicated to green, and has allocated economic incentives to its continued production.
Even as 2020 draws to a close, the future may still look uncertain. But for those searching for greater security, gold may be one of the few certainties left.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?
There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?
Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?
Spanish cities where to live cheap and well
In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.
The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries.
In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run.
Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors.
I have already decided on the place. Now what?
Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?
Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.
To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.
And remember: a move is always a new beginning.
Holiday in Italy: choose Florence for a break in the winter
Florence is one of the most visited Italian cities, with over 15,4 million tourists visiting the city each year. Located in the heart of the Tuscany region, this beautiful city breathes history, life and culture among its streets. If you are looking for the perfect location for your next winter holidays, then you should look no further, Florence is the perfect destination for you.
Enjoying the best cuisine
Florence is one of the cities with the richer gastronomy in the world. From traditional Italian cuisine to exquisite wines, the food in this city have everything you may wish for in order to please your palate. With so many options available, you may be wondering where to eat in Florence. Food critics recommend that you check out the following options during your visit to Florence:
- Traditional Italian cuisine: visiting Florence and not tasting original Italian cuisine would be considered blasphemous by many. Italy has one of the most delicious gastronomies in the world, and in Florence you will be able to taste it at its finest with local ingredients. Restaurants like La Chiostrina or Il Rosmarino will allow you to rediscover Italy by its traditional food.
- Tasting the local wine: wines from the Tuscany region are famous worldwide as the best in the market, making this region the Mecca of wine lovers. During your visit to Florence you will be able to taste those deliquescent wines in restaurants such as Olio Restaurant or Villa Pitiana Restaurant, or taste it on places dedicated exclusively to wine such as Enoteca Obsequium Firenze or L’Enoteca Sandro Soltani.
- International cuisine: if you like international cuisine, then you are on luck. The best chefs around the globe have restaurants on Florence. This means that you will be able to taste flavours from all the world without having to leave the city. For example, you can visit the restaurant El Inca for a taste of Peruvian food, restaurant Com Saigon for genuine Vietnamese cuisine, restaurant Ararat for Armenian and Georgian traditional food, or Dim Sum for refined Chinese cuisine. Discover the world by trying the taste of these countries’ traditional flavours.
- Taste original gelato: gelatos are the ice cream predecessors, and they have been one of Italy’s culinary specialties for centuries . This traditional Italian cold dessert is similar to ice cream, but has less fat and less added sugar. You will be able to enjoy this amazing treat on the many gelaterias around Florence streets, such as Gelateria Edoardo or Gelateria Dei Neri.
- Tapas and Street food: these are excellent alternatives if you are looking to make a simple meal with your family. You will be able to enjoy these small dishes in places like Italian Tapas or Rivalta Cafe.
- Modern cuisine: you can taste the most modern and alternative cuisine in the world in Florence. Restaurants like Alla Torre De’ Rossi or Winter Garden by Caino will bring to your table the sophistication the more delicate palates crave.
Discover Florence’s hidden gems
Florence is a city with a lot of monuments and museums to discover. However, most people that visit the city tend to focus only on the main monuments of the city, such as Campanile di Giotto or Palazzo Vecchio o della Signoria, and the restaurants near those. Because of that, if you want to experience Florence to its fullest, we recommend you rent a bike.
Discovering Florence by bike will grant you access to places away from the mainstream crowds, such as the Andrea del Sarto Museum (dedicated to this amazing Italian painter) or the beautiful Ospedale degli Innocenti (a 17th-century home for abandoned children which includes some amazing pieces of art done by renowned artists like Botticelli). These are really stunning places you would miss if you stick to the traditional tourist route, causing you a lot of regrets over the missed chance.
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