In a nutshell, the new European Copyright Directive is intended to make copyright fair and sustainable for all.
Copyright reform is a fundamental part of this general desire to see more balance in the online world, and also to create new provisions for artists and writers in their relations with labels and publishers. It also tackles news online with a new right for press publishers.
Independent music companies embrace the fact that creators and citizens enjoy a unique relationship online. They also embrace the fact that posting and sharing user-generated content is part of our daily life online. At the same time, IMPALA felt that certain rules of engagement online needed to be rewritten because some large platforms claimed that responsibility lies only with the user and the owner of the content.
This was not just a call from the music industry, 80% of Europeans wanted the EU to ensure creators are properly paid. Over 300 organisations across all cultural sectors asked the parliament to vote in favour, with a joint campaign #Yes2copyright.
On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament approved the copyright directive in a landmark vote. You can find the European Commission’s press release here.
On 15th April 2019, the Member States reconfirmed their approval of the text, thus ending the legislative process at EU level. Here is the statement from the European Commission.
The Directive was published in the EU’s official journal on 17 May, you can find it here. Member states had until 7 June 2021 to transpose it into their national laws.
The European Commission published its long-awaited guidance on article 17 of the copyright directive on 4 June 2021, just days ahead of the official implementation deadline. We published a statement, with our main message to member states being the same as before: to implement article 17 swiftly and faithfully according to the text of the directive to ensure maximum harmonisation. We have also produced a first assessment of the guidance for members which is available in our members-only resource section.
Further reading and listening: