On April 15, the Council of the EU approved the new Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (now titled Directive 2017/790). The Directive has a clear objective, to modernise the legislative framework of European copyright laws in an effort to bring member states closer to a single digital market. It has been published in the Official Journal of the EU on April 17.

Further discussion of the implications of the new Directive as well as Articles 15 and 17 can be found in Finnegan’s Incontestable Blog post.

Member states have until June 12, 2021 to implement the Directive into their national laws. Various practical concerns have already been raised as to how certain vague terminology used in the Directive will be interpreted. Such concerns are reflected in the words of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy and Finland in a recent joint statement. Likewise, Germany raises serious apprehensions regarding algorithm-based “upload filters” in respect of Article 17 implementation practicalities. By contrast, reports state that France is keen to hastily implement the directive into local law.

With the UK forecast to leave the EU before the June 2021 implementation deadline, it appears that there will be no obligation for the directive to be introduced into UK law. It is therefore unclear whether the UK will choose to bring national law in line with the directive.