Insights News Media Europe slams delays in implementation of Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive (2019/790/EU)


The European press publishers’ association, News Media Europe, has slammed the late implementation of the Directive throughout Europe. Only four Member States had transposed the Directive by the deadline for implementation on 7 June 2021.

NME says that the delays “threaten the sustainability of the free press” as European press publishers eagerly wait for a clear legislative framework that allows them to set up the mechanisms needed so they can start licensing their content online.

The European Commission only recently adopted guidelines on Article 17 to help Member States interpret a key provision, which allows the cultural and creative sector to claim remuneration from content sharing platforms.

NME notes that the guidelines do not prevent press publishers benefitting from the licensing opportunities offered under Article 17 and it is pleased that the Commission states that Article 17 aims to “foster the development of the licensing market”.

NME notes that some EU governments (e.g. France, Denmark) have developed concrete solutions in discussion with stakeholders to ensure press publishers can effectively exercise their new neighbouring right. These solutions include reasonable copyright exceptions, the ability to negotiate collectively, remuneration guidelines, fair negotiation frameworks and third-party oversight (arbitration, mediation).

In parallel, the NME notes the adoption of the Australian news bargaining code, which has triggered international discussions on how competition policy can complement copyright. While the French and German competition authorities engaged with the issue, the NME says that it is “important that the European Union hop on the train with Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act negotiations”. To read the NME’s press release in full, click here.