Digital Single Market: EU negotiators reach a breakthrough to modernise copyright rules
Yesterday, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission found a political agreement to make the copyright rules fit for digital era in Europe and bring tangible benefits to all creative sectors, the press, researchers, educators, cultural heritage institutions, and citizens.
The political agreement reached yesterday will adapt copyright rules to today's world, where music streaming services, video-on-demand platforms, news aggregators and user-uploaded-content platforms have become the main gateways to access creative works and press articles. The agreement needs now to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the coming weeks.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip yesterday said:
“To finally have modern copyright rules for the whole of EU is a major achievement that was long overdue. The negotiations were difficult, but what counts in the end is that we have a fair and balanced result that is fit for a digital Europe: the freedoms and rights enjoyed by internet users today will be enhanced, our creators will be better remunerated for their work, and the internet economy will have clearer rules for operating and thriving.”
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, yesterday said:
“The long awaited Copyright Directive adoption is a crucial cornerstone for our Digital Single Market. By providing a clearer legal framework fit for the digital world, it will strengthen the cultural and creative sectors, and bring added value to the European citizens.”
Better protection for European authors and performers and for journalism
The new Directive reinforces the position of European authors and performers in the digital environment and enhances high-quality journalism in the EU. In particular, it brings:
- Tangible benefits to all creative sectors, specifically creators and actors in the audio-visual and musical sectors, by reinforcing their position vis-à-vis platforms to have more control over the use of their content uploaded by users on these platforms and be remunerated for it.
- The principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers will be laid down for the first time in European copyright law.
- Authors and performers will enjoy access to transparent information on how their works and performances are exploited by their counterparts (publishers and producers). This will make it easier for them to negotiate future contracts and to receive a fairer share of the generated revenues.
- If publishers or producers fail to exploit the rights that authors and performers have transferred to them, authors and performers will be allowed to revoke their rights.
- European press publishers will enjoy a new right, which aims to facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is re-used on online platforms. It will give journalists the right to receive a greater share of the revenues generated by the online uses of press publications. This right will not affect citizens and individual users, who will continue to enjoy and share news hyperlinks as they do today.
New rules to reinforce the interests of citizens and internet users
Users will benefit from the new licencing rules which will allow them to upload copyright protected content on platforms like YouTube or Instagram legally. They will also benefit from safeguards linked to the freedom of expression when they upload videos that contain rightholders' content, i.e. in memes or parodies. The interests of the users are preserved through effective mechanisms to swiftly contest any unjustified removal of their content by the platforms.
The new Directive will ensure wider access to knowledge by simplifying copyright rules in the areas of text and data mining for research and other purposes, education and preservation of cultural heritage:
- Research organisations, universities and other users will be able to make the most of the increasing number of publications and data available online for research or other purposes as they will benefit from a copyright exception to carry out text and data mining on large sets of data. This will also enhance the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence in Europe.
- Students and teachers will be able to use copyrighted materials in online courses, including across borders, for the purposes of illustration for teaching.
- The preservation of cultural heritage in the collections of European museums, archives and other cultural heritage institutions will have no copyright restrictions.
Users will also have access to works, films or music records that are no longer commercially available in Europe today, as well as wider variety of European audiovisual works on video-on-demand (VoD) platforms.
They will be completely free to share copies of paintings, sculptures and other works of art in the public domain with full legal certainty.
The agreed text must now be formally confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council.Once confirmed and published on the Official Journal of the EU, the Member States will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national legislation.
Commission's surveys showed in 2016 that 57% of internet users access press articles via social networks, information aggregators or search engines. 47% of these users read extracts compiled by these sites without clicking through. The same trend was observed for the music and film industry: 49% of internet users in the EU access music or audiovisual content online, 40% of those aged 15-24 watched TV online at least once a week. This trend has rocketed since then.
In September 2016, the European Commission proposed to modernise EU Copyright rules for European culture to flourish and circulate, as part of the Digital Single Market Strategy.
The EU Copyright reform is a priority file for the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, who have committed to adopt it by the end of this legislative mandate. It modernises EU copyright rules which date back to 2001 – an eternity in the digital age. Back then, there were no social media, no video on demand, no museums digitising their art collections and no teacher providing online courses.
Yesterday's agreement is a part of a broader initiative to adapt EU copyright rules to the digital age. In December 2018, EU co-legislators agreed on new rules to make it easier for European broadcasters to make certain programmes available on their live TV or catch-up services online. And since 1 April 2018, Europeans who buy or subscribe to films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books and games in their home Member State are able to access this content when they travel or stay temporarily in another EU country.
- Questions and Answers: EU negotiators reach a breakthrough to modernise copyright rules
- Press release of the European Parliament on Copyright Directive
- Press release: Commission proposes modern EU copyright rules for European culture to flourish and circulate
- Factsheet: How the EU support cinema and the audiovisual sector
- Copyright FAQs
- Eurobarometer https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/new-eurobarometer-shows-how-15-45-year-olds-use-internet-access-music-films-tv-series-images
Latest News from
Future-proofing the European banking market – removing the obstacles to exit21/11/2019 15:10:00
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the ECB, at the S&P Global’s European Financial Institutions Conference, Paris
Autumn Fiscal Package: EC adopts Opinions on euro area Draft Budgetary Plans21/11/2019 13:20:00
The EC has presented its Opinions on euro area Member States' 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans, taken steps under the Stability and Growth Pact and adopted the fourth Enhanced Surveillance Report for Greece.
Raw materials: EC launches new online portal to support responsible sourcing in businesses21/11/2019 11:10:00
The EC has launched Due Diligence Ready!, an online portal that provides businesses with guidance on how to check the sources of the metals and minerals entering their supply chains – the so-called “due diligence” process.
More than half a million asylum applications lodged in the EU+ so far in 201921/11/2019 10:02:00
The proportion of applications receiving a positive decision (known as "recognition rate") so far this year was 34%, compared to 33% in the first nine months of 2018.
EU and the Paris agreement: towards climate neutrality20/11/2019 15:10:00
The EU will need to update its long-term climate goals in 2020. Parliament wants more ambitious goals, but will EU countries agree to aim for climate neutrality by 2050?
Oceans and seas threatened by climate change: Council adopts conclusions20/11/2019 13:20:00
The Council Hs adopted conclusions on oceans and seas, stressing that climate change is a direct and existential threat to life in oceans and seas globally.
Textiles EU's fourth largest cause of environmental pressures after food, housing, transport20/11/2019 12:10:00
Consumption of clothing, footwear and household textiles in the EU uses annually about 1.3 tonnes of raw materials and more than 100 cubic metres of water per person, according to a European Environment Agency briefing.
Chambers & Regions said a collective effort is needed to boost uptake of EU FTAs20/11/2019 11:25:00
EUROCHAMBRES and the European Committee of the Regions have conducted the joint survey over the past months, with an objective to identify opportunities and obstacles faced in the implementation of EU FTAs.
Rapid risk assessment - Sexual transmission of dengue in Spain20/11/2019 09:10:00
Spanish authorities have reported the likely sexual transmission of dengue between two men. This is the first case of dengue described in an area without the presence of vector mosquitoes that has been attributed to sexual transmission, and the first sexual transmission described between men who have sex with men (MSM).
Young migrants: Is Europe creating a lost generation?19/11/2019 16:10:00
Delays and serious challenges integrating young refugees who have fled war and persecution risk creating a lost generation, finds a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report. While it identifies some good practices, it urges Member States to learn from each other to give these young people an adequate chance in life.