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Parliamentary questions
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19 July 2019
Question reference: E-000088/2019

Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market modernises EU copyright legislation to make it fit for the digital age. The compromises found between the European Parliament and the Council when adopting this directive seek to provide for a fair balance between the legitimate interests of all stakeholders involved.

The directive has to be transposed by Member States by 7 June 2021. The Commission is responsible for overseeing Member States’ application of Union law.

Driven by the objective of creating a well-functioning marketplace for copyright, the directive clarifies the legal framework of online content sharing platforms that operate based on the ‘user-uploaded-content’ model. The directive provides that such platforms will in principle have to obtain a licence for copyright-protected works uploaded by users unless a number of conditions provided for in the directive are met. This reinforces the position of all right holders to negotiate the conditions of the exploitation of their online works and the remuneration for the online use of their content by these platforms.

At the same time, the directive ensures that users are allowed to generate and upload content freely, for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche. The directive is explicit in its defence of freedom of expression and in its opposition to any type of censorship. The directive further safeguards users’ freedom of expression by providing for redress and a complaints mechanism which enables users to challenge any unjustified removal of their content from online content sharing platforms.

After adoption by the co-legislators and entry into force, Directive (EU) 2019/790 provides clear legal rules and obligations that considerably limit the power of the largest players to enjoy unfair bargaining advantages in their relations with right holders and users. The rights of artists, authors, creators, performers, journalists and users are therefore clearly defined and protected, at a level previously unreached.

The directive enshrines the authors’ and performers’ right to appropriate and proportionate remuneration upon the licensing or transfer of their rights. To ensure the effective implementation of this right in practice, the directive introduces a transparency obligation concerning the exploitation of licensed works, as well as a remuneration adjustment mechanism, accompanied by a dedicated alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

Last updated: 22 July 2019Legal notice