EU Copyright Directive passed

British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies
News from the BCC Council – 18 April, 2019.

– Milestone Day for Copyright in the EU –

The EU copyright directive was adopted on Monday 15 April by the European Council, completing its final stage of approval after two-and-a-half years of debate and negotiation – and much hard work, including by many BCC members.

You can read the European Council press release here and one from the European Commission here.

Although six member states voted against the new rules (Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden), and three abstained (Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia), the directive passed with the support of 19 countries – three more than the minimum required – representing more than 71% of the EU population.

Also today, the EU finally adopted the new “Satcab” directive aimed at facilitating the licensing of copyright material contained in radio and TV programmes, so that European broadcasters can more easily make them available through online services across the EU.

Both directives must now be published in the Official Journal of the EU, after which member states will have 24 months to implement the measures at national level

From BAPLA’s perspective it’s important to state that the directive is far from ideal. However, given that its key aim was to provide a level playing field online and redress the balance for rights holders, it goes some way to achieve that, and proponents of Article 13 (now Article 17) will see it as a significant result.

There are other parts of the directive which may have a negative effect on the image sector, and as such BAPLA will need to keep a watching brief. We’ll also be looking to debate the potential impact of the Copyright Directive in much more detail at the FOCUS event in October.

If you have any concerns please do get in touch with the BAPLA office in the meantime.