The new Copyright Directive and its controversial articles


Last 20th June 2018, a Committee of the European Parliament approved the Proposal of European Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The new legislation has, however, two controversial articles, in particular, number 11 and 13.

Article 11 “Protection of press publications concerning digital uses will entail the imposition of a tax on platforms for linking to news articles or any content protected under a copyright license (link tax), which for many people is similar to the Google tax or Spanish AEDE fee, but with differences, such as its non-binding character, publishers can claim or waive the amounts to which they are entitled, it does not require an intermediate debt collector, and the right could last for 20 years.

On the other hand, Article 13 “Use of protected content by information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users”, will mean that Internet companies will implement a filter to analyse the content uploaded by users and thus protect copyright. They will have to check that the content that their users publish is free of copyright.

Julia Reda analyses the possible consequences of its implementation, for example, “the freedom of expression will be limited as the upload monitoring software cannot tell infringement apart from legal uses like parody, specifically enabled by exceptions and limitations to copyright. The implementation of this Directive will also entail a huge burden on internet companies and discourage investment in user-generated content start-ups, preventing EU competition against the dominant US platforms from arising”.

The next steps towards the entry into force of the Directive are:

  1. Voting in the European Parliament on 4th and 5th July.


  1. Negotiation between the Parliament and the EU Member States.


  1. Finally, the European Parliament's vote on the outcome of these negotiations, which will take place towards the end of 2018.

See full text of Proposal of European Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market here.


Written by: Cristina García Alzina



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