COPYRIGHT IN THE DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET – LONG-DEBATED DIRECTIVE APPROVED

Posted: April 23, 2019

On 15 April 2019 the European Council approved the final text of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (also known as the EU Copyright Directive),[1] which has been the subject of intense debate and lobbying since its initial proposal in 2016.  The Directive will enter into force on the twentieth day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union,[2] and it must be implemented by EU member states within 24 months after coming into force.[3]  The Directive is part of a broader EU initiative to modernise copyright, and it introduces measures that aim to achieve a well-functioning marketplace for copyright.

Among lesser measures, the Directive sets out three main sets of new provisions that are noteworthy in a media and entertainment context:

  • sharing platform obligations;
  • author and performer rights; and
  • a press publication right.

Details

Please see our full article here for details of those new provisions.

Comment

Taken together, the new measures are set to have a wide-ranging impact on how copyright-protected content is produced and exploited within the EU. This will in turn have a significant effect on how executives and legal practitioners negotiate and draft entertainment-related contracts,

Still, there is some way to go before the full extent of the impact can be assessed. First, it could make a big practical difference how the various member states implement the Directive, and lobbying will no doubt continue unabated on both sides of the debate.  Secondly, the UK looks set to remain a key European centre for the creative industries, and the potential effect of the ongoing Brexit uncertainties makes it hard to predict how far the Directive will apply in the UK – although it is reasonable to assume that, one way or the other, it will ultimately affect the UK creative industries more or less along the lines laid down by the Directive.  Thirdly, it will take some time before actual commercial practice settles down, and the status quo could yet prove surprisingly resilient.

Ed Baden-Powell, Partner and Rachael HeeleyTrainee Solicitor, Simkins LLP

To read the full article, click here.  Article written for Entertainment Law Review.

[1] Directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market.  References in this article to Articles are to Articles of that Directive, unless otherwise stated.

[2] Art. 31.

[3] Art. 29.