EU member states validate the agreement obtained by Romania in the dossier of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market
EU member states validated on Wednesday a political deal on the reform of copyright rules obtained with the European Parliament by Romania, the country holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is a new important step in the adoption of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, a piece of legislation that is currently one of the most difficult dossiers at a European level.
The Romanian culture minister Valer-Daniel Breaz explains: “The talks on the need of such a directive started from the discontent of those who produce music, film, theatre, etc, who were unable at some point to benefit from remuneration, from fair copyright for their work. It wasn’t easy.”
The directive will have a major impact on both creators, whose rights must be fully respected, and European citizens, who must profit from the benefits of the digital single market, minister Breaz has pointed out: “I could say that European citizens will have access to a richer offer of online cultural content and educational material, as well as reliable and quality news. The directive will have a positive impact on a wide category of actors, such as press publishers, cultural institutions, educational bodies, artists, performers, creators and professionals in the field of culture.”
The draft directive covers a wide range of issues, which can be split into three categories. One deals with the adaptation of copyright exceptions to the digital and cross-border environments. A second category refers to improving practices for granting licences to ensure wider access to content. In this sense, the directive provides for norms that facilitate the exploitation of works that have ceased to be commercialised, the issuing of collective licences with expanded effects and obtaining rights for films through on demand video platforms.
A third category introduces a new concept for press publishers with regard to the digital use of their press publications. The authors of the works included in the publications in question will be entitled to a share in the income obtained by press publishers resulting from this new right. The directive also clarifies the legal framework for the video-sharing platforms. The latter will, in principle, have to obtain a licence for the copyright-protected works uploaded by users, with the exception of certain conditions stipulated by the directive.
For the agreement to come into force, it has to be voted on in the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) and in the plenary session of the European Parliament and then adopted by the Council of the European Union. (Translated by C. Mateescu)