In June 2019, the European Union’s new Copyright Directive entered into force. Member States must implement this Directive into their national laws by 7 June 2021. 

Some countries such as the Netherlands and Germany have already held public consultations to collect the recommendations of the various stakeholders, including libraries. Library professionals from Finland, Hungary and Ireland are entering into consultations with their governments.

IFLA is committed to supporting libraries and library associations achieve the best possible implementation and thus support the achievement of their mission, working with our partners EBLIDA, LIBER and SPARC Europe.

Below we answer some key questions: what is in the Directive, why it is important to get involved, and what steps to follow to get do so.

What’s in the Directive?

As set out in our news story when the Directive was adopted, there are new possibilities for libraries to support text and data mining, education, preservation, and access to out-of-commerce works.

There are also of course concerns about the impact of new rules for platforms and news aggregators on free expression and access to information.

There are many other materials about the different parts of the Directive on our resources page.

Why it important to get involved in implementation?

The potential of the Directive can only be fully realised if the voices of library professionals are heard – they are the most relevant people to discuss the problems of the profession and the legal needs related to their mission.

There is enough flexibility in the Directive to mean that many of its provisions will be useless if poorly applied. However, good library engagement can make a real difference

What are the first steps to get involved in the follow-up of this implementation?

  1. Identify who will be responsible for the legislation or regulation to implement the Directive in your government.
  2. Let this person (or these people) know that libraries are key stakeholders for the implementation of the Directive. You could potentially look to set up a meeting.
  3. Identify where information about the legislation or regulation is available.
  4. Identify which committee in your Parliament will be responsible for reviewing the legislation or regulation to implement the Directive.
  5. Identify members of parliament who could be favourable to the interests of libraries. Set up meetings with them.
  6. Identify other stakeholders with whom you could work to influence the implementation (Archives, Museums, research and education organisations, users’ rights organisations for example).
  7. Understand the government’s timeline for the process (deadline for consultations, dates of the workshops)
  8. Understand where your current law may need to change, and what else you want to obtain

If you are interested to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us in order to discuss how you could get involved in the process, and what tools and other materials could be useful for you!