Ask EP By / October 24, 2018

New rules on copyright in the digital single market

Technological advances and the growth of the digital market have given rise to an ever-growing number of questions from the public concerning the new proposals to modernise EU copyright rules.

© pe3check / Fotolia
Copyright in the Digital Single Market concept on European Union flag
© pe3check / Fotolia

Technological advances and the growth of the digital market have given rise to an ever-growing number of questions from the public concerning the new proposals to modernise EU copyright rules. To answer these concerns, we ask what steps the EU takes in considering the proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market on copyright in the digital single market at EU level?

This update of the copyright rules forms part of the EU digital single market strategy launched in 2015.

European Commission proposal

To help European culture flourish and circulate, the European Commission proposed a new directive on copyright in the digital single market which seeks to establish a fairer and more viable market for creators, the creative sector and the print media.

European Parliament position

Under the rules governing the ordinary legislative procedure, the European Parliament decides, on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers, whether or not to adopt a legislative act proposed by the Commission.

After first rejecting (in July) its Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) position on the decision to enter into negotiations with the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position by 438 votes to 226 with 39 abstentions at its plenary part-session of 12 September 2018. This included adopting amendments concerning:

  • protection of press publications concerning digital uses;
  • use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers;
  • the principle of fair and proportionate remuneration;
  • negotiating rights for authors and performers;
  • adapting exceptions and limitations to digital and cross-border environments;
  • access to Union publications.

The text adopted following that vote in plenary was then sent to the JURI committee with a mandate to begin interinstitutional negotiations.

Council of the European Union position

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) had agreed on a position on a negotiating mandate with the European Parliament, with a view to adopting the directive at first reading, on 25 May 2018.

Stakeholder positions

The file has been discussed by the European Economic and Social Committee and by the Committee of the Regions, both of which have issued opinions on the issue.

Next steps

The file is now awaiting the outcome of what are known as trilogue negotiations between Parliament, the Council and the Commission, following which the proposal will come before Parliament once again, for a final first-reading vote.

Further information

For further reading on the proposal on copyright in the digital single market, a wealth of information is available on the European Parliament Think Tank., including a briefing on copyright in the digital single market resuming the procedure and the state of play in July 2018, and a study on copyright law in the EU, comparing the situation in the EU Member States..

Continue to put your questions to the Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (Ask EP). We reply to you in the EU language that you use to write to us.


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