Issue Brief on “Europe’s New Copyright Law: An Inflection Point”


The European Parliament (EP) passed the revised Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market[1] on September 12, 2018, by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions. The fundamental objective of this legal reform is to put an end to the growing hegemony of online content sharing service providers which make huge profits through manipulation of user’s personal data and content of creatives while protecting the freedom of innovation and expression.[2]

The EP approved more than 200 last-minute amendments to the June Committee proposal before the final vote. The accepted draft will now be transferred to the European Commission (EC) where the leaders of the 28 member-states will give the final executive approval.[3] The existing copyright law date back to 2001 and optionally implemented. The new law is designed according to the needs of the internet era and will be uniformly applicable to the entire European Union (EU).[4] The German European People’s Party (EPP) member and rapporteur Mr. Axel Voss said, “I am very glad that despite the very strong lobbying campaign by the internet giants, there is now majorities in the full house…Huge American platforms make money whilst our creatives die out. This is why we have to strengthen their rights and make platforms responsible.”[5]

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