April 2019 – by  Linda Eijpe

Late March, the European Parliament adopted the draft of the European Copyright Directive. The draft set many tongues wagging. In particular Articles 11 and 13 met with a lot of resistance.

In Article 11 the use of news articles by providers of ‘services of the information society’ are for instance limited. This covers more or less all the websites. Furthermore, Article 13 includes an obligation for the ‘online sharing service providers’ to use an upload filter. These are parties like YouTube and Facebook. As from its entry into force, such providers will have to pre-examine whether the content shared through their platform is copyrighted, or not. The providers will have to ask the right owners of the content for prior consent.

After a lot of opposition, eventually in the latest draft of Article 13 an exception is made for small providers. Article 13 does not apply, if a platform is younger than 3 years, has a turnover below 10 million a year and has less than 5 million visitors a month. This maybe a small comfort. However, this has not yet taken away the objections of the Dutch government. According to the Dutch government, the final result of the directive will be a step back in time. The Netherlands published together with Luxemburg, Poland, Italy and Finland a joint statement in which they briefly explain their objections.

Linda Eijpe