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Institutional and Legal Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Copyright in the digital single market [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tambiama Madiega (5th edition, updated on 14.6.2019),

copyright symbol on a hand

© natali_mis / Fotolia

The European Commission presented a legislative package for the modernisation of the EU copyright rules, including a new directive on copyright in the digital single market, on 14 September 2016. Stakeholders and academics were strongly divided on the proposal. In February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed on a new set of copyright rules, including two controversial provisions: 1) the creation of a new right that will allow press publishers to claim remuneration for the online use of their publications (Article 15), and 2) the imposition of content monitoring measures on online platforms such as YouTube, which seeks to resolve the ‘value gap’ and help rights-holders to better monetise and control the distribution of their content online (Article 17). Furthermore, in addition to the mandatory exception for text and data mining for research purposes proposed by the Commission in its proposal, the co‑legislators agreed to enshrine in EU law another mandatory exception for general text and data mining (Article 4) in order to contribute to the development of data analytics and artificial intelligence. The European Parliament (in plenary) and the Council approved the compromise text in March 2019 and in April 2019 respectively. The directive was published on 15 May 2019 in the Official Journal of the European Union, and all Member States must transpose the new rules into their national law by June 2021.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market
Committee responsible: Legal Affairs (JURI) COM(2016) 593, 14.9.2016.
Rapporteurs: Axel Voss (EPP, Germany)
Lidia Joanna Geringer De Oedenberg (S&D, Poland)
Shadow rapporteurs: Angel Dzhambazki (ECR, Bulgaria)
Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France)
Jiří Mastalka (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic)
Julia Reda (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Isabella Adolfini (EFDD, Italy)
Marie-Christine Boutonnet (ENF, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Procedure completed. Directive (EU) 2019/790
OJ L 130, 17.5.2019, pp. 92-125.



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