The European Parliament has today voted to formally approve the new Copyright Directive. MEPs voted to adopt the text without amendments with 348 votes in favour and 274 against.

The vote marks the end of a difficult and controversial journey through the legislative process, accompanied by intense lobbying from stakeholders on every side of the debate. The Council now has to officially endorse the text in the coming weeks, which should now pass with no further discussion. The Directive will then become law and Member States will have two years to implement it at a national level.

You can access the official adopted text here.

The headline items, which have been much discussed in the press, include:

  • a stipulation that Online Content Sharing Service Providers (such as YouTube) require authorisation from rights-holders to share copyright works;
  • increased reporting obligations for media businesses designed to ensure fair remuneration for authors, artists and performers; and
  • recognition of a new right for press publishers, intended to strengthen their position in relation to online platforms such as news aggregation services.

MediaWrites reported in detail on these provisions in the run-up to today’s vote.

The new Directive also introduces mandatory exceptions to allow text and data-mining. Whilst these articles have not garnered as many headlines, they could prove fundamental to the fast-developing AI industry. You can read our analysis of these new exceptions here.

This Directive will impact the businesses of those at every level of the copyright value chain: from individual artists to tech giants. As the countdown to implementation begins, MediaWrites will be keeping an eye on developments and bringing you further comment and analysis.

Francine is the Senior Public Affairs Manager, based in Bird & Bird's Brussels office. With 20 years' experience of working in the EU and U.S. regulatory environment, in both the private and public sectors, Francine has extensive knowledge of the European regulatory environment for the media, technology and communications sectors. At a time of enormous regulatory challenges that will define the future of the digital economy, she advises clients how to navigate complex EU decision-making processes to achieve specific industry goals.
Lizzie is a Trainee Associate, currently sitting in our Commercial department.

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