Controversial new copyright laws have been approved by the Council of the European Union.
The EU copyright directive received the backing of 19 countries. However, six member states – including Italy and The Netherlands – voted against the legislation and a further three abstained.
Opposition to the new legal framework has brought together tech giant Google with campaigners for internet freedoms.
One area of dispute is how “user-uploaded-content” is handled. It gives rightsholders protections in how their work is exploited by the platforms who will have to obtain a licence for its distribution unless a number of conditions provided for in the directive are met.
“I am very glad that we have achieved a balanced text, creating multiple opportunities for Europe’s creative sectors, which will thrive and better reflect our cultural diversity and other European common values, but also for the users, whose freedom of expression on internet will be consolidated,” said Valer Daniel Breaz, Romanian Minister for Culture and National Identity.
Following the signature and publication of the directive in the Official Journal of the EU, member states will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national law.
Breath of EU Copyright legislation
Adaptation of copyright exceptions/limitations to the digital and cross-border environment
The directive introduces mandatory exceptions to copyright for the purposes of text and data mining, online teaching activities and the preservation and online dissemination of cultural heritage.
Improvement of licensing practices to ensure wider access to creative content
The directive provides for harmonised rules facilitating the:
- exploitation of works that have stopped being commercialised (out-of-commerce works)
- issuing of collective licences with extended effect
- rights clearance for films by video-on-demand platforms.
Achievement of a well-functioning marketplace for copyright
The directive introduces a new right for press publishers for the online use of their press publications. Authors of works incorporated in the press publication will be entitled to a share of the press publisher’s revenue deriving from this new right.
Source: European Union