On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament passed, in the first reading, the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive), the goal of which is to respond to the development and changes of digital technologies, which bring new (cross-border) ways to use works and which make it difficult for copyright holders to get a fair share of the value created by online use of their works. The official title, as of 6 June 2019, is Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC.

One of the most controversial aspects of the DSM Directive is the duty of information society service providers to adopt measures preventing unauthorized online publication of copyrighted works. This brings an interesting contrast with Article 14 of the Directive on Electronic Commerce governing the so-called “safe harbour” that protects information society service providers from liability rather than imposing such a duty.

The Directive further defines the granting of collective licenses and mandatory copyright exclusions for scientific research or cultural heritage preservation.

Member States must implement the DSM Directive into their national law by 7 June 2021.

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