IFLA has joined with over 40 civil society organisations across Europe in calling for the sharing of draft guidelines on the implementation of the controversial upload filter provisions in the Copyright Directive.

While the European Union’s Copyright Directive entered into force in June 2019, it leaves a number of questions still to be resolved. Crucially, each Member State will need to make choices about how it implements the rules.

In the case of the Article 17, which includes controversial provisions about the steps that internet platforms should take to prevent copyright-infringing content being available, this task is particularly difficult.

The Article contains a number of contradictions, including provisions which appear to oblige platforms to use technology to monitor all content uploaded by users, while at the same time declaring that there should be no monitoring obligation. It also calls for measures to protect copyright exceptions and limitations, without any evidence of the existence of technological tools which can recognise them.  

In order to address these concerns, a series of stakeholder dialogues is taking place in order to inform the preparation of guidelines to Member States. IFLA is participating actively in this work as the only representative of the library field.

In this context, groups representing users are keen to ensure that the final guidelines fully reflect the input received. To do this, it is necessary to have the possibility to comment on a draft, rather than simply be presented with a final version.

To encourage the Commission to agree to this, IFLA has signed onto a joint letter led by the European Civil Liberties Union. This underlines gratitude for the willingness of the Commission to engage user rights groups in the process, and calls for the sharing of a draft of the guidelines, in the same spirit.

You can read the letter from our publications page.