EU Copyright appointment causes controversy

May 2011

All areas

There has been a fair amount of controversy about the appointment of Maria Martin-Prat as the European Union’s new point person on copyright policy because Martin-Prat spent years directing global legal policy for the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) the global recording industry’s London-based trade group as Deputy General Counsel, Director of Legal Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Two MEPs are questioning Martin-Prat’s appointment. Liberal Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake and Swedish Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström (no surprise with regards to the latter!)  have written to the European Commission, asking, “Does the Commission not see any problems in recruiting top civil servants from special interest organisations, especially when being put in charge of dossiers directly related to their former employers? If not, why not adding “Does the Commission feel that such an appointment would help to build confidence with the European Parliament and the general public that the Commission can be trusted to handle copyright-related issues in a fair and balanced manner?” The Commission should offer its own response in the next few weeks.

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