EU modernises copyright rules

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The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission found a political agreement to make the copyright rules fit for digital era in Europe and bring tangible benefits to all creative sectors, the press, researchers, educators, cultural heritage institutions, and citizens. The political agreement will adapt copyright rules to today’s world, where music streaming services, video-on-demand platforms, news aggregators and user-uploaded-content platforms have become the main gateways to access creative works and press articles. The agreement needs now to be confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the coming weeks.

The new Directive reinforces the position of European authors and performers in the digital environment and enhances high-quality journalism in the EU. In particular, it brings tangible benefits to all creative sectors, specifically creators and actors in the audio-visual and musical sectors, by reinforcing their position vis-à-vis platforms to have more control over the use of their content uploaded by users on these platforms and be remunerated for it. The principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors and performers will be laid down for the first time in European copyright law. Authors and performers will enjoy access to transparent information on how their works and performances are exploited by their counterparts (publishers and producers). This will make it easier for them to negotiate future contracts and to receive a fairer share of the generated revenues. If publishers or producers fail to exploit the rights that authors and performers have transferred to them, authors and performers will be allowed to revoke their rights.

Besides, European press publishers will enjoy a new right, which aims to facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is re-used on online platforms. It will give journalists the right to receive a greater share of the revenues generated by the online uses of press publications. This right will not affect citizens and individual users, who will continue to enjoy and share news hyperlinks as they do today.

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