The reviewed EU copyright rules consists of a regulation and directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. It also contains a Directive and a Regulation to implement the Marrakesh treaty in EU law.
Objectives of EU copyright proposals
- More cross-border access to content online;
- Wider opportunities to use copyrighted materials in education, research and cultural heritage;
- A better functioning copyright marketplace.
Furthermore, the Marrakesh treaty implementation will make more books and texts available for people who are visually impaired or have other print disabilities in a format suitable for them.
The proposals will help European copyright industries to flourish in a Digital Single Market and European authors to reach new audiences, while making European works widely accessible to European citizens, also across borders.
The aim is to ensure a good balance between copyright and relevant public policy objectives such as education, research, innovation and the needs of persons with disabilities.
Download the copyright visual summary (pdf)
One of the key objectives of the proposals is to increase the availability of works for people across Europe, provide new distribution channels for creators and bring the EU's cultural heritage to the forefront.
To achieve these objectives, the Commission proposes measures to:
- Create favourable conditions for cross-border distribution of television and radio programmes online
- Increase the availability of audiovisual works on VoD platforms
- Facilitate the digitalisation and dissemination of works that are out-of-commerce.
Most of the copyright exceptions in EU law are currently optional and do not apply across borders. Also, some of them need to be re-assessed in light of today's technological realities.
The objective of the proposed directive is to modernize the EU rules applicable to key exceptions and limitations in the areas of teaching, research and preservation of cultural heritage, focusing in particular on digital and cross-border uses.
The mandatory exceptions that the proposed directive announces are related to:
- Teaching activities
- Text and data mining
- Preservation of cultural heritage.
The proposed measures aim at creating a fairer market place for online content especially for press publications, online platforms and remuneration of authors and performers.
The main elements of the proposed directive are:
- Related or "neighbouring" right for press publishers
- A reinforced position of right holders to negotiate and be remunerated for the online exploitation of their content of video-sharing platforms
- Remuneration of authors and performers via new transparency rules.
More content for people with visual impairments or other print disabilities
In parallel, two legislative proposals, a Directive and a Regulation, have been adopted for the implementation in EU law of the Marrakesh Treaty, in order to allow people with print disabilities to access more books and other print material in formats that are accessible to them.
The Directive establishes a mandatory exception to copyright and related rights and the Regulation permits the cross-border exchange of copies made under that exception between the EU and third countries that are party to the Treaty.
The legislative proposals for a regulation and directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market were agreed with a political deal by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The next steps for the agreed texts will be their formal confirmation by the Council and the Parliament. The proposals for the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in EU law have already been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council and were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 20 September 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions
See the European Commission's dedicated page of Frequently Asked Questions on the new copyright rules.
- Press release
- Factsheet on Copyright
- Eurobarometer "Internet users' preferences for accessing content online"
Communication and legislative proposals
- Communication - Promoting a fair, efficient and competitive European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled
Documents accompanying the proposals
- Impact Assessment on the modernisation of EU copyright rules and Executive summary of the Impact Assessment on the modernisaiton of EU copyright rules
Other useful documents
- Evaluation of the Council Directive 93/83/EEC on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission and Executive summary of the Evaluation of the Council Directive 93/83/EEC on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission
- Eurobarometer report Internet users’ preferences for accessing content online and country factsheets
- Synopsis report and contributions of the results of the public consultation on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain and on the "panorama exception"