In a statement, the community executive revealed that “it asked Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia to communicate information on how the rules included in the Digital Single Market Copyright Directive are being enacted in their national legislation”.
At stake is the European law on copyright and related rights in the digital single market, which entered into force in May 2019, stipulating a two-year adaptation period, until June 2021, for EU countries to enact the new rules in their national legislation, and by that date the legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions must be adopted.
At the same time, the European Commission asked “Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia to communicate information on how the directive on [copyright in] online television and radio programs is being enacted in their national legislation”.
“Since the above-mentioned Member States have not communicated national measures or have only partially done so, the Commission today decided to initiate infringement procedures by sending notices”, the institution adds in the press release.
This means that the Member States concerned must inform Brussels about the enactment of the copyright directives into national law.
These countries now have two months to respond to letters from the European Commission and take the necessary measures, as, without a satisfactory response, the institution may decide to issue reasoned opinions, the next step in the infringement procedures.
The two directives aim to modernise the EU's copyright rules.
With regard to the European copyright directive, it was created to protect the ownership of the contents of artists, musicians, writers and journalists on the internet, stipulating rules for the use of their work by third parties.
Thus, at issue are instruments for the renegotiation of contracts, financial compensation to be supported by those who use content other than for private purposes, and the control of material that is shared by users on online platforms.
The aim is for the directive to focus mainly on technology giants such as Facebook, Google and YouTube, which now have responsibilities to ensure respect for copyright.
The articles of this directive that have caused the most controversy among Member States concern the protection of press publications for digital uses, providing for a payment to that same publication in the sharing of links or references, and the creation of a mechanism to control the material that is loaded onto the platforms by users.