European Union


Brussels, 14, Feb 2019 - Parliament and the Council negotiators reached an agreement on the new set of rules changing the current rights and obligations on copyright so the new law will also apply to the internet.

The common position is waiting to be approved by Council representatives and the EP plenary.


Main changes:

Currently internet companies have little incentive to sign fair licensing agreements with rights holders, because they are not considered liable for the content that their users upload. They are only obliged to remove infringing content when a rights holder asks them to do so. However, this is cumbersome for rights holders and does not guarantee them a fair revenue. Making internet companies liable will enhance rights holders’ chances (notably musicians, performers and script authors, as well as news publishers and journalists) to secure fair licensing agreements, thereby obtaining fairer remuneration for the use of their works exploited digitally.


“Legislators strove to ensure that the internet remains a space for freedom of expression. Snippets from news articles can thus continue to be shared, as can Gifs and memes”, as stated in an EP press release.


The Council of the European Union reached an agreement last May, after almost two years of discussion. The European Parliament's relevant committee initially approved a position concerning this proposal in June 2018, but the European Parliament plenary session rejected the mandate to launch trilogue negotiations which now concluded in a common position.


Initially strongly opposed by Wikipedia, soon after guaranteed by amendments in the new set of rules, the directive raised criticism from the big online platforms YouTube, Facebook and Google News, the most directly affected by the new EU legislation.

"Creatives and news publishers will be empowered to negotiate with internet giants thanks to a deal reached on copyright rules which also contains safeguards on freedom of expression", press release reads. "The deal aims at enhancing rights holders’ chances, notably musicians, performers and script authors, as well as news publishers, to negotiate better remuneration deals for the use of their works featured on internet platforms".

Key points:

1) Internet platforms face incentives to pay for artists and journalists’ work used

2) Some uploaded material, such as memes or GIFs, can be shared freely

3) Hyperlinks to news articles, accompanied by “individual words or very short extracts” can be shared freely

4)Journalists must get a share of any copyright-related revenue obtained by their publishing house

5) Start-up platforms subject to lighter obligations

6) The directive will not impose filters

Copyright © 2019 

The European Parliament is on the way of approving
the new digital copyright rules. 

Tech giants will share revenue with artists and journalists.