The first major reform of Europe’s copyright system in almost 20 years aims to update the law for the digital age. In addition to affecting libraries and library users across Europe, it also sets an example for others, and could affect libaries elsewhere directly.

The European Union has concluded the process of reforming its copyright law following the European Commission’s proposal of September 2016 (available here in all EU official languages). The reforms set out the ambitious goal of bringing the regime up to date with the digital age, with rules affecting libraries and cultural heritage institutions a key part of the dossier.

IFLA has been closely following the discussions and, together with partner organisations like EBLIDA or LIBER, has engaged with decisionmakers to ensure a good outcome for libraries.

This page brings together resources that IFLA created, some with partner organisations, to both inform the library sector of what is at stake and to inform decisionmakers of what libraries need.

We have also set up a mailing list for the purpose of exchanging information on how implementation moves forward in member states. You can sign up through this link:


Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC

IFLA’s Press Release on the Adoption of the Directive, April 2019

IFLA’s comments to the European Parliament position, September 2018

Infographic with an overview of how the Commission, the Council of Ministers (Member States) and the several European Parliament Committees are responding to the needs of libraries and their users, March 2018

European Directive in the Digital Single Market: What it is about and Why Libraries Should Care

Article 3: Text and data mining

Position paper

8 Reasons Why… Europe needs a simple exception for Text and Data Mining

Article 4: Illustration for teaching

Position paper

Article 5: Preservation

Position paper

5 Reasons Why… Cultural heritage institutions need a preservation and internal reproduction exception

Suggested article 5bis: Document delivery

Position paper

Suggested article 5ter: Dedicated terminals

Position paper

Suggested article 5 quarter: E-lending

Position paper

Article 6: Exception stacking and technological protection measures

Blog post: Below the Radar, Below the Belt: the Threat to Libraries (and many others) from Article 6 of the new draft Copyright Directive

Blog post: The End of a Discipline? EU Copyright Directive Endangers Digital Humanities

Articles 7 to 9: extended collective licensing

Position paper

Infographic: The Paradox of the Disappearing Book. How to ensure rules on Out of Commerce Works really work

8 Reasons Why… Effective EU Provisions on Out of Commerce Works Require an Exception

Article 13: Upload filters

Briefing: Article 13 and Its Implications for Freedom of Expression