The European Directive on Copyright in the European Parliament


November, 2019

The recent approval by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market has not been without controversy, especially with the subsequent ratification of its Articles 15 and 17. In essence, the first article recognizes publishers’ right to define the use and public communication of their online content; and the second, the obligation of internet service providers to obtain the corresponding copyright and related authorizations for the content that their users upload, or to demonstrate that they have made significant efforts, either to obtain the authorization or to remove the content in question.

The controversy arises from the indication by several civil society and academic groups that the contents of both articles posed risks for the Internet and for freedom of expression, as well as for access to culture and information. Despite these groups’ efforts and the opposition to the Directive, the media sector’s arguments carried greater weight in the Parliament’s decision.