The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the “Directive“) has been published in the EU Official Journal and enters into force on 7 June 2019. Member States then have 24 months, until 7 June 2021, to transpose the Directive into national laws.

The Directive was supported by 19 Member States during its vote in the European Council on 15 April 2019. The UK supported the legislation whilst Poland, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg and the Netherlands opposed it. Poland stated that its reason for objection was that the Directive could pave the way to internet censorship. The Directive was finally approved by the European Parliament on 26 March 2019, marking the end of lengthy negotiations and delays.

For further detail on the Directive, please see our previous blog post here. The final text provided the following changes to the numbers:

  • Article 17 (previously Article 13 in the draft) – online content-sharing service providers’ liability for copyright infringing content;
  • Article 15 (previously Article 11 in the draft) – ancillary copyright for press publishers

Further provisions were also added relating to: exceptions and limitations for text and data mining;  collective licensing, and recall, transparency, and fair remuneration rights for owners of copyright.

Articles 17 and 15 proved to be controversial throughout the approval process as we discussed in our earlier blog post here.  The EU Commission is now required to issue guidelines to Member States on the application of “best efforts” requirements, as well as on cooperation with rights holders.

Whether the UK transposes the Directive into national law remains to be seen given the country’s imminent departure from the EU. It will be interesting to see how stakeholders manage the implementation process following the biggest shake up of copyright legislation in decades.


Joel Smith
Joel Smith
+44 20 7466 2331
Elena Hogg
Elena Hogg
+44 20 7466 2590