The new European Copyright Directive cleared its final legislative hurdle – at the continental level – yesterday, as it was approved by the Council of the European Union. That’s the body of the EU’s member states, with 19 of the 28 countries voting to pass the directive. Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden voted against it, while Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained. That could be important, because what happens next is that the 28 countries (we’re still including the UK in this list, pending Brexit) now have two years to transpose the new directive into their own national legislation. It will be interesting to see what happens in those six countries that voted against the directive yesterday, in other words. Still, the European Commission is happy.
“With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age. Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms,” said its president Jean-Claude Juncker. Rightsholder bodies too.
“It was a long road and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion. As a result, we now have a balanced text that sets a precedent for the rest of the world to follow, by putting citizens and creators at the heart of the reform and introducing clear rules for online platforms,” said Impala executive chair Helen Smith.