The reform 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. It
was proposed by the Commission in September 2016
and voted by the European Parliament in March 2019.
European Commission President
Jean-Claude Juncker said: "With
today's agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the
digital age. Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair
remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and
responsibility for platforms. When it comes to completing Europe's
digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of
The new Directive will boost high-quality journalism in the EU
and offer better protection for European authors and performers.
Users will benefit from the new rules, which will allow them to
upload copyright protected content on platforms legally. Moreover,
they will benefit from enhanced safeguards linked to the freedom of
expression when they upload videos that contain rights holders'
content, i.e. in memes or parodies.
The Copyright Directive is a part of a broader
initiative to adapt EU copyright rules to the digital
age. Also today, EU Member States finally adopted new
rules to make it easier for European broadcasters to make
certain programmes on their online services available across
borders. Furthermore, 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.
After publication in the Official Journal of the EU, the Member
States will have 24 months to transpose the Directive into their
national legislation. The new rules on Copyright as well as the new
rules facilitating access to online TV and radio content
across borders will be formally signed on Wednesday 17 April
at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
In September 2016 the European Commission proposed modernising
Copyright rules for European culture to flourish and
circulate, as part of the
Digital Single Market strategy. The reform modernises EU rules
dating back to 2001, when there were no social media, no video on
demand, no museums digitising their art collections and no teacher
providing online courses.
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
For comments from the Publishers Association, Booksellers
Association, Society of Authors and others when the European
Parliament voted in favour of the legislation last month, see The Bookseller of 26 March 2019. For more
information on what the changes mean, see The Guardian article of 26 March 2019 by Alex