17 April 2019

Adoption of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

Following the European Parliament’s adoption of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on 26 March 2019, the Council of Ministers of the European Union has now also voted in favour of the text.

The text will enter into force in the coming weeks, once it is published in the Official Journal. This will be followed by a period of two years in which Member States must make the relevant changes to national laws.

Libraries in Europe have engaged strongly in shaping this important piece of legislation to ensure that it fulfils its promise of harmonising Europe’s copyright law and updating it to the digital environment. We have benefitted from the constant support of a number of Members of the European Parliament, whose work has allowed major progress to be made.

While important progress has been made for the library, cultural heritage, research sector and educational sectors, key flaws remain. Articles 15 (11 before the renumbering) and 17 (13 before renumbering) raise important challenges to the freedom of expression and freedom of access to information.

Yet discussions are far from over. Work at the national level will be essential if Europe’s libraries are to get the best out of this legislative text has to offer. IFLA, working alongside partner library and research organisations, looks forward to assisting our members in this task. Our first step will be to establish a discussion list for those involved in lobbying on the implementation of this Directive at national level, about which we will communicate separately.

Read more about what the library field has acheived - and still needs to do - in our blog on The EU Copyright Reform: Battles Won, Bullets Dodged, and the Questions that Remain. You can find this release, as well as further resources on our publication page.

CLM (Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Advocacy, Associations, Conservation, Copyright, Copyright exceptions and limitations, eLending, eLending for Libraries

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