Copyright in the Digital Single Market – proposal for an EU directive

The EC has now published a proposal for a new directive of which the principal aim is making the current EU legislation on copyright and related rights more relevant to the continual development of digital technology (text: Eur-Lex).

At the most general level the proposal concerns the fields of digital and cross-border methods of use in education, exploration of text and data in scientific research, and preservation of cultural heritage. The purpose is to guarantee that certain ways in which works are used in these fields, including in cross-border situations, is lawful.

For this purpose the proposal contains provisions which adapt the current exceptions and restrictions to suit the digital and cross-border environment. Another group of proposed provisions relates to ensuring broader access to content. Specific solutions relate to use of works which are not commercially available by cultural heritage institutions and access to audio-visual works on VOD platforms. Provisions on proper functioning of the market with respect to copyright, meanwhile, are a separate group. In this regard the EC is proposing regulation which reinforces the legal standing of publishers of press materials, and in addition solutions relating to certain types of use of protected content on websites and ensuring fair payment of authors and performers, and providers of information society services.

Considering the current position of social networking websites such as even “Google” or “Facebook”, in particular the most recent proposals will definitely trigger lively debate.

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