copyright - digital single market

Articles 11 and 13 of the European Union’s Copyright Directive could radically change the way search engines deliver content to users. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Article 11: Creates a rule that requires search engines and other tech platforms to obtain a license when republishing parts of news articles.
  • Article 13: Creates a rule that requires search engines and other tech platforms to seek a license for material that has a copyright.

Read the Full Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market Here.

What is Civil Society Saying?

Brookings: “A conflict between government’s desire for certainty and rapid marketplace innovation?” Stuart N. Brotman argues that rules and licenses should not impede the speed and flexibility of innovation in the digital marketplace.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Leading action to stop articles 11 and 13. The EFF links to the largest petition in EU history. The EFF argues that the articles are ambiguous which could incite unintended consequences. One consequence is that in Article 11, news articles could potentially ban linking to their articles. News publishers could ban critics or others with dissenting opinions. The EFF also argues that Article 13 requires a copyright filter applied to all content. Filters are inaccurate and give censors powerful tools to remove material they don’t like.

Wikimedia Foundation: Wikimedia argues that some aspects of the Digital Single Market could stifle innovation and the free flow of information.

Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

Articles 11 and 13 received much if not all of the press surrounding the Digital Single Market directive. Some are concerned that the negative publicity surrounding two articles of the directive jeopardize other beneficial elements.

The Association of European Research Libraries argues that Articles 3 and 3a, Article 5, and Articles 7-9 offer significant benefits to research organizations and libraries. These articles provide copyright exceptions for big data and AI researchers and allows for mass digitization of “in-copyright but out of commerce works.”

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